It’s the first official day of summer, and therefore the longest day of the year, and a withering 95 degrees outside my window. (But it ain’t the heat; it’s the humidity.) So what better time to talk about one of the best summer comedies? David Wain‘s Wet Hot American Summer was made on a relatively small budget and greeted by a seemingly disinterested audience in 2001. But the film has found an enthusiastic cult audience, and one of the tenets of cult movie enthusiasm is holding out hope for a sequel, no matter how unlikely.

In this case, blame the film itself for some of the sequel dreams — it actively advances the idea of a sequel by having the characters end the movie joking about organizing a ten-year reunion. And so, almost every time David Wain gives an interview the question comes up: where’s the sequel? But the movie didn’t do well ten years ago and Universal doesn’t seem to think it will do well now. (Don’t expect a feature-laden anniversary DVD release.)

That doesn’t mean the idea of another movie with the characters (played by Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, Zak Orth, A.D. Miles, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Molly Shannon, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Amy Poehler, and Bradley Cooper) is 100% out of the realm of possibility, however. It’s probably only about 98% impossible. Read More »

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Briefly: The man once high in the running to be crowned king of all manchildren has truly grown up: he’ll be playing the father of a character played by a comic who inherited his mantle. Let’s clarify. Adam Sandler will play the father and Andy Samberg his son in a film called I Hate You Dad.

THR explains that the film is about “a father who moves in on the eve of his son’s wedding and promptly begins feuding with the bride-to-be.” There’s no director at this point; the script is being developed at Happy Madison. But wait, here’s where it gets good: the original draft of the script was by David Caspe, but was rewritten by David Wain and Ken Marino. Suddenly I’ve got to pay attention to this one. If I Hate You Dad goes forward we’ll give you all the info.

I was surprised to hear last year that Francis Ford Coppola had quietly gone into production on a gothic dream/nightmare horror story called Twixt Now and Sunrise. I’m a hell of a lot more surprised to hear that Dan Deacon is scoring it. Dan Deacon is a guy whose basic appearance will cause anyone who casually spits out the word ‘hipster’ to recoil in horror. But he’s one of the best goddamn performers I’ve seen in a while, with the ability to squeeze wild noises out of analog electronics and an enviable knack for manipulating audiences.

None of which seems to gel at all with what we know about Mr. Coppola’s dream inspired film that stars Val Kilmer, Elle Fanning, Ben Chaplin, Alden Ehrenreich and Bruce Dern. That just makes me all the more curious. I don’t see how the sounds we’re used to hearing from Deacon would work, but I don’t consider him limited to that sound, either. So this could be some all-new magic. Can’t wait to find out. The pair also reportedly have another, larger project in the works. [Pitchfork]

After the break, Edgar Wright’s cohort Joe Cornish gets some Basement Jaxx tunes for Attack the Block (that’s the first still, above), and Craig Wedren scores David Wain’s latest. 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.

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Wanderlust, the Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston comedy about a married couple who try to escape modern society and end up in a hippie commune, is really starting to come together. Much of the cast has already been set—first Justin Theroux (Mulholland Dr.) joined, then Six Feet Under’s Lauren Ambrose hopped on board, and most recently Alan Alda and Malin Akerman were thrown into the mix—and now the always enjoyable Ray Liotta has been added to round out the group. No word on what the part entails, but I’m betting on him playing a stern, ill-tempered police officer who complicates things for our protagonists. Here’s hoping he proves me wrong by getting cast against type this time around.

Judd Apatow is producing the film, along with Paul Rudd, David Wain and Ken Marino, the three of whom teamed up before on Wet Hot American Summer and Role Models. Wain is directing from a script he co-wrote with Marino. This pairing sold me from day one, and the cast certainly doesn’t hurt. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the break, the single-location thriller ATM gets a casting change. Read More »

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David Wain directing Alan Alda is something I can pretty easily picture. Brett Ratner directing Alan Alda is something of which I’d never even conceived, though I suppose Alda would have been right at home in Ratner’s The Family Man, with Nic Cage. Regardless, Alda will work with both directors as he’s been cast in both Wain’s Wanderlust and Ratner’s Tower Heist. Read More »

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In the past couple years, Christian Slater has been seen much more on TV than in films, and quite a few of the films he has made, well, have been…underexposed. (Show of hands: who saw Lies & Illusions? That’s what I thought.) But perhaps Playback will fare better than most. Or maybe not: Slater will star in Playback as “a sinister cop who is pivotal in exposing a small town’s deepest, darkest secret.”

Johnny Pacar, Toby Hemingway, Jonathan Keltz, Alessandra Torresani, Ambyr Childers, and Daryl “Chill” Mitchell also appear, and the story is kicked off when high school kids start poking into their town’s ‘mysterious past’ and expose an evil that preys upon them all. In the end, I bet Slater’s character would have gotten away with it if not for those meddling kids. Michael A. Nickles wrote the script and is directing right now in Grand Rapids, MI. [Variety]

After the break, Lauren Ambrose works for David Wain and Malin Akerman joins Ethan Hawke in a thriller. Read More »

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Fans of Role Models and Wet Hot American Summer, take note and rejoice: David Wain will direct Wanderlust, a comedy written by Wain, Paul Rudd and Ken Marino. Rudd and Jennifer Aniston will star, with Judd Apatow producing. Read More »

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