In the decade or so since he hit Hollywood, Josh Schwartz has become a high-profile name in television. He first gained attention for creating the smash hit The O.C., and followed up that success by co-creating Chuck and Gossip Girl. And now that he’s conquered the small screen, he’s got his sights set on taking over the big one.

Schwartz is making his feature directorial debut with the holiday teen comedy Fun Size, a sort of Adventures in Babysitting with Halloween costumes. Nickelodeon breakout Victoria Justice plays Wren, whose plans to attend a Halloween party are scuttled when her mother (Chelsea Handler) forces her to take her weird little brother Albert (Jackson Nicoll) trick-or-treating.

Her night takes yet another turn for the worse when she loses her little brother, sending her on a frantic search to recover him with the help of her best friend April (Suburgatory‘s Jane Levy). Meanwhile, Albert’s up to his own insane adventures, involving a brokenhearted man and some criminal activity. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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As the credits rolled, I exited This Means War thinking “what a depressing piece of garbage,” even as I realized that a summation like that might not be completely fair. The film, directed by McG, does have some good scenes featuring Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Reese Witherspoon and Chelsea Handler. There are times when Pine and Hardy have some great, genuine chemistry. More than once, I laughed loud enough that I can never claim the movie is not funny.

With a little bit of tweaking, This Means War could be a pretty cutting vision of a certain cavalier type of romantic relationship. Without a lot of work it could even be the best gay romance action movie we’ve ever seen.

But I’m not the film’s editor, and I can’t reshape it, and This Means War is not those things. Despite the occasional explosion of chemistry, it is a tremendously cynical enterprise. It is also a flat and cheap-looking movie, though that’s more a passing observation than a deep criticism; there are plenty of cheap-looking movies for which I’d go to bat. I will not, however, go to bat for McG’s weird action romcom. Read More »

Today’s second casting break — possibly the latest in a series, given the density of news on that front lately — has three pretty divergent stories. After the break, you’ll find info on the following trio:

  • Channing Tatum is attached to a thriller pitch called Blood Brothers.
  • Chelsea Handler grabs a role in the teen comedy Fun Size.
  • And the porn drama Cherry, in which James Franco plays a coke-addled lawyer, now has an actress to play the lead. Read More »

‘Hop’ Trailer

In Hop, from Alvin and the Chipmunks director Tim Hill, Russell Brand voices a CGI version of the Easter bunny and James Marsden plays the human who gets stuck taking care of him. Well, it isn’t the Easter bunny exactly, but a young bunny who has been tapped to be the next global deliverer of eggs and candy. Close enough.

We’ve seen one teaser, which basically consisted of a CGI bunny playing drums, but now there is a full trailer. If you think you can be convinced that this idea is a good one, by all means press on to the point beyond the break. Read More »

I wasn’t planning to write about Gallery1988′s first annual “Is This Thing On” art show as it really has little connection to movies or television (or so I thought… the above piece featuring Judd Apatow mashed-up with the infamous Star Trek Tribbles episode is a fine example of this). The show, co-sponsored by FunnyOrDie, features over 100 artists, each creating pieces that are portraits of their favorite funny people, both beloved comics of yesteryear and emerging superstars.

The line up of comedians depicted include: Chris Farley, Will Ferrel, Richard Pryor, Don Rickles, Paul Reubens,Tim & Eric, Nick Kroll, Demetri Martin, Chris Rock, Whitney Cummings, Jon Lovitz, Sam Kinison, Bill Murray, Woody Allen, Colin Quinn, Bill Hicks, Howard Stern, Judd Apatow, Chris Hardwick, Marc Maron, Scott Auckerman, David Spade, Andy Dick, Lenny Bruce, Adam Sandler, Amy Sedaris, Lisa Lampanelli, David Cross, Andy Kaufman, Christopher Guest, Mr. Show, Rob Corddry and Children’s Hospital, Gilbert Gottfried, Jeffrey Ross, Bill Cosby, Bobcat Goldthwait, Tracy Morgan, Roseanne, Patton Oswalt, Dave Attell, David Wain and Wet Hot American Summer, Will Forte, John Candy, Lilly Tomlin, Phil Hartman, John Belushi, Mel Brooks and Young Frankenstein, Chevy Chase, Louis CK, Norm MacDonald, Flight of the Conchords, Jim Carrey, Reggie Watts, Steve Martin, Larry David, Rodney Dangerfield, Mitch Hedberg, Ellen DeGenerous, Margaret Cho, Steven Wright, Conan O’Brien, David Letterman, Richard Lewis, George Carlin, UCB Theater LA, Upright Citizen Brigade (TV show), Human Giant, Sasha Baron Cohen, Gallagher, Dana Carvey, Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, Danny McBride, Carrot Top, Greg Giraldo, Donald Glover, Zach Galifiankis, Charlene Yi, Andrew “Dice” Clay, Chris Elliot, Jon Lovitz, Artie Lange, Doug Benson, Redd Foxx, Ben Stiller, Ricky Gervais, Dave Chapelle, Chelsea Handler, Aziz Ansari, Eddie Murphy, SF Sketchfest, Cheech & Chong, Sarah Silverman, Stella, Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Brian Posehn, Charlie Murphy and Kids In The Hall.
The show is ongoing until January 29th 2011 in the Melrose Gallery 1988 location. Hirt the jump to see some of my favorite pieces of art from the exhibition.

Chelsea Handler Joins McG’s ‘This Means War’

chelsea-handler

Briefly: McG is now working on his romantic comedy with action overtones, This Means War. The core cast — Chris Pine versus Tom Hardy — is enough to make me ignore past feelings about McG and generate some interest for the film. Reese Witherspoon is playing the woman the two guys are essentially fighting over, and now Chelsea Lately host Chelsea Handler has signed on to play the best friend and confidante of Witherspoon’s character.

As we’ve said before, This Means War is a script that has been kicking around for a long time, but was recently rewritten and put on a fast track to production. With the script as it stands now, Hardy and Pine are “two best friends, both of whom are spies, who go to war with each other after falling in love with the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). It’s about what’s more important — your best friend or the love of your life — and what happens when the two come into conflict with each other.” [Deadline]

Academy Award Winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno) has launched a new internet interview show titled “Red Band Trailer”, “the world’s first talk show conducted in an an airstream trailer.” Her first two guests are actor Adam Brody (The O.C., Thank You For Smoking, Jennifer’s Body and the upcoming Scream 4) and Chelsea Handler (Chelsea Lately, In Motherhood, and the upcoming film Hop). Watch the first two episodes after the jump.

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