There’s a scene in Josh Radnor’s sophomore effort, Liberal Arts, where a 35-year-old admissions officer is mathematically analyzing what it means to date a 19-year-old. No words are uttered, it’s all simple math written on screen, yet it’s filled with more humor, poise and philosophy in two minutes than some movies have in two hours. The scene spawned a round of applause mid-movie. Not bad for a writer/director who most people know as a sitcom star.

With Liberal Arts, Radnor positions himself as a mini-Cameron Crowe, mixing joy, life lessons and a love of culture into a perfect, crowd pleasing film. Co-starring Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney and Zac Efron, Liberal Arts had its world premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and received a well-deserved standing ovation. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Way back when, we reported on a film called Margaret by You Can Count on Me director Kenneth Lonergan. At that point — 2009 — the film had already been delayed for years, and our post was an explanation of the various reasons why. Now, three years after that, the film is finally set to get a release.

Starring Anna Paquin, Mark Ruffalo and Matt Damon, Margaret revolves around a young woman dealing with guilt and grief in the wake of a tragic bus accident. The film marks a reunion for Ruffalo and Lonergan, who previously worked together on the excellent You Can Count on Me. Read more after the jump.

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Jason Bateman has won the lead role in We’re the Millers, a stoner comedy to be directed by Rawson Thurber. The two worked together previously on 2004’s Dodgeball, which featured Bateman as spacey color commentator Pepper Brooks.

Bateman and Thurber are just the latest names to board the film, which has been in development for nearly a decade — John Morris, Sean Anders, Steve Buscemi and Bateman’s Arrested Development co-star Will Arnett have all been attached to the project at various points. Bateman seems to be on a hot streak with comedies right now, though, so here’s hoping the project actually gets made this time around.

The script follows a drug dealer who decides he wants out of the business. But before he quits, of course, he has to take one last job which involves traveling to Mexico and creating a fake family in order to smuggle 1,400 pounds of marijuana back into the U.S. I haven’t read the script myself, but based on what I’ve heard it’s sharp, dark, and very funny. [Pajiba]

After the jump, new stars for Pacific Rim and Struck by Lightning.

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Three more have signed on for What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Kirk Jones‘ adaptation of the classic pregnancy manual. The comedy follows several different couples, Love Actually-style, as each experiences pregnancy and the miracle of childbirth. Bridesmaids actress Wendi McLendon-Covey will play a colleague and friend of Jennifer Lopez‘ character; True Blood‘s Joe Manganiello will be a single guy whose carefree, glamorous lifestyle is the envy of all the local dads; and Glee star Matthew Morrison has won the part of Evan, who teams up with Cameron Diaz‘ character on a celebrity dance show (really) and eventually gets her pregnant.

In addition to the actors named above, What to Expect will also feature Elizabeth Banks, Chris Rock, Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Rodrigo Santoro, Chace Crawford, Rob Huebel, and McLendon-Covey‘s Bridesmaids co-star Rebel Wilson. The film will begin shooting this summer for a Mother’s Day 2012 release. [The Playlist, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline]

More ensemble comedy news after the jump: Robert Smigel and Annie Mumolo board Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up spin-off, while Christina Hendricks, Sarah Hyland, and Dermot Mulroney sign up for Struck by Lightning.

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Slumdog Millionaire and Skins star Dev Patel is the latest actor to join the cast of Aaron Sorkin‘s HBO pilot More As This Story Develops. The story revolves around a cable news anchor named Will McCallister (Jeff Daniels) and his executive producer Mackenzie (Emily Mortimer) as they attempt to get their show back on track after a massive staff shake-up. Alison Pill, Sam Waterston, Olivia Munn, John Gallagher Jr., Thomas Sadoski and Josh Pence are also signed on to star. Few details have been given on Patel’s character, but it is said that he will be “a series regular who works at the channel.”

Scott Rudin and Alan Poul are executive producing the project, along with Sorkin. Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland) will direct the pilot. [Variety]

After the jump, Vince Vaughn buddies up with Ben Stiller again, Allison Janney joins Chris Colfer’s big screen debut, and Jason London talks UFOs with Brandon Fehr.

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‘The Help’ International Trailer

The Help isn’t the platonic ideal of a summer movie — actually, it’s kind of the opposite. But thanks in a large part to the cast, it’s one of the upcoming films I’m most curious about. Tate Taylor‘s adaptation of Kathryn Stockett‘s novel follows a young writer named Skeeter (Emma Stone) who causes an uproar in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi when she publishes a book from the point of view of “the help.” Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison JanneyJessica Chastain and Sissy Spacek also star. Watch the new international trailer after the jump.

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Three radically different comedies are filling up with a bevy of well-known actors. Johnny Knoxville, Josh Pence and many more have joined the cast of Fun Size, a kid comedy described as a Halloween-set blend of Superbad and Adventures in Babysitting. Allison Janney has been cast by Josh Radnor for Liberal Arts, which the How I Met Your Mother star will star in, write and direct. Also Seth Green and Michelle Trachtenberg will appear along Katee Sackhoff in the dark comedy Sexy Evil Genius. Read more about all of these projects after the jump. Read More »

In addition to offering up quite a few new images of Captain America, the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly has first looks at many other films. There’s the first image from The Help, starring Viola Davis and Emma Stone in what is sure to be one of the prestige pictures of fall 2011. There are also new images from Something Borrowed, starring John Krasinski and Kate Hudson, and even an on-set image, enlarged above, from Oren Moverman‘s Rampart, which stars Woody Harrelson and Ice Cube. More info and pics after the break. Read More »

I’m not sure how Todd Solondz managed to shrink Tilda Swinton into the form of a young boy, but he appears to have done so; the figure graces the overseas poster, seen below, for his new film Life During Wartime. (It’s actually the young actor Dylan Riley Snyder. But still.)

Much more important, we’ve now got a UK trailer for the film, which shows off a brief glimpse of the way in which Solondz has taken characters from Happiness and Welcome to the Dollhouse and brought them forward into a new portrait of family disquiet and the spirit of forgiveness. Read More »

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Movie Trailer: Sam Mendes’ Away We Go

away we go

Blogging about movie news 24/7 results in an extensive knowledge of future film projects. Rarely does a trailer come across my desk that I haven’t already written or read about in one form or another, especially not a film by a high profile director. But every once in a while, it happens.

I had no idea that Sam Mendes had even started on a follow-up to Revolutionary Road, nevermind had it in the can. Away We Go hits theaters in just a two and a half months, on June 5th 2009, and Focus Features just unloaded the first trailer today. The film is a comedy about a couple who are expecting their first child, who travel around the U.S. in order to find a perfect place to start their family. The movie stars John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Catherine O’Hara, Jeff Daniels and Allison Janney. The movie feels more like Little Miss Sunshine than a film I would expect from Mendes. Watch the trailer after the jump and leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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