Oscar-winner Adrien Brody sports a body full of tattoos, full beard, dreadlocks and a couple crazy eyes in the new stoner comedy High School. Co-written and directed by John Stalberg in his feature film debut, High School follows a valedictorian who smokes pot one day before his school begins random drug testing. So as to not get caught making a fatal mistake, he and his friend go about the task of getting every single person in the school high. Matthew Bush and Sean Marquette are the friends, Brody is the man with the drugs and Michael Chiklis, Colin Hanks and Mykelti Williamson are among the other co-stars. One trailer was released for the movie quite some time ago, but now there is a new one.

Check out the theatrical trailer for the film after the jump. Read More »

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HIGH School Movie Trailer

HIGH school

One of our most anticipated films of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival was the stoner comedy High School. I attended a midnight screening of the film, and the crowd was hysterical with laughter. That said, I thought the premise was much more clever than the actual film. What’s the premise? Here is the official description from Sundance:

“Michael Chiklis plays a smarmy high school principal who suddenly institutes a zero-tolerance crusade, introducing mandatory drug tests for all students. Failure of which will result in immediate expulsion. Matt Bush plays a straight-arrow valedictorian named Henry Burke who normally would have nothing to worry about, except he just tried marijuana for the very first time. I’ll let the Sundance description take over: “With his college scholarship hanging in the balance, Burke begrudgingly teams up with charismatic pothead Travis Breaux to do the only thing they can think of to neutralize this threat—get the entire student body stoned.”

Twitch has discovered a trailer for the film online, which we’ve embedded after the jump. Watch it now and leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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harold-faltermeyer-for-hunter

If the ’80s gave a sniffling speech at the Decade Achievement Awards, Harold Faltermeyer and his scores would be thanked somewhere after Shigeru Miyamoto and Super Mario Bros. and Magic Johnson’s Lakers. A classically trained German composer with an affinity for rock and disco, Faltermeyer got his start in Hollywood assisting mustachioed electro-don Georgio Moroder on soundtracks for Oliver Stone’s provocative Midnight Express and Adrian Lyne’s jail-bait fave Foxes. With the release of Beverly Hills Cop in 1984, everyone acknowledges how Faltermeyer’s theme song, “Axel F,” hopped into bed with America’s zeitgeist like few songs before or since. The track’s equation of urgent nightlife synths plus cool-black-dude drum effects, then buffered to an upbeat Cali finish, not only paralleled the confident, crowd-pleaser m.o. of sure-shot producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, it embodied and celebrated it.

Soon following “Axel F,” Faltermeyer crafted incredibly memorable and fun themes/scores for Fletch and Top Gun, rising to the occasion by sonically matching the unmatched charisma of Chevy Chase and Tom Cruise on screen in the mid ’80s. Reflecting on the three themes today, not to mention his work on actioners The Running Man and Tango & Cash, it’s difficult to express how Faltermeyer shaped the way audiences then and now remember the ’80s as a time of just-plain-exciting innocence and excess, a time when the buddy-cop formula and toothy superstar grins felt fresh. It’s this feeling and nostalgia Kevin Smith is paying pop-homage to with Cop Out, another bid for a mainstream hit from the ’90s slacker auteur starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan. Smith personally requested Faltermeyer—who’s remained inactive on major soundtracks since the ’92 copper Kuffs—score the film with his signature sound. The catchy result is felt by several critics to be the best thing about the action-comedy. (Stream it here.)

In an interview with /Film, Faltermeyer talked about his creative process and about “crazy shit” including the late Don Simpson’s finesse with a Ferrari.

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Sundance Film Festival

Since I’m in Park City, a day before the 2010 Sundance Film Festival officially begins, I thought I’d do a round-up of the films I’m most looking forward to this year at the festival. Attending Sundance, you have to put a list together of the movies you want to see the most. Sometimes you’re lucky and you pick something that becomes the buzz of the fest — Super Size Me, Little Miss Sunshine, Rocket Science, or (500) Days of Summer. And sometimes your choices are just dead wrong, for example, last year The Informers was on the top of my must see list. But by the end of the fest, the film was my most hated movie of the year.

So these predictions are in now way definitive. They are very subjective, films that caught my interest. I usually stick to more narrative films (over documentaries) and often see more English language films. I have my little sub genres which I always feel drawn to, for instance, I usually love coming of age stories. And if they are set in the 1970′s or 1980′s, all the better. Minimalistic one-room thrillers also interest me.

This year doesn’t have many obvious breakout choices, but had a lot of solid looking films. If you’ve been actively reading the site over the last month, then you’ve probably checked out a bunch of the Sundance photo and trailer previews and you might recognize a bunch of these films. The following 18 selections are also in no particular order. Lets take a look at my choices for this year’s festival (and it might be fun to revisit this list at the conclusion of the festival, to see how right or wrong I was).

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Sundance Photo Preview: HIGH school

HIGH school

John Stalberg‘s feature directorial debut HIGH school will premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in the Park City at Midnight category. Many people are comparing the film to The Wackness, another pot dramedy that played Sundance a couple years back. Michael Chiklis plays a smarmy high school principal who suddenly institutes a zero-tolerance crusade, introducing mandatory drug tests for all students. Failure of which will result in immediate expulsion. Matt Bush plays a straight-arrow valedictorian named Henry Burke who normally would have nothing to worry about, except he just tried marijuana for the very first time. I’ll let the Sundance description take over:

With his college scholarship hanging in the balance, Burke begrudgingly teams up with charismatic pothead Travis Breaux to do the only thing they can think of to neutralize this threat—get the entire student body stoned. In his debut feature, director/cowriter John Stalberg Jr. percolates his deliriously manic narrative with sparkling energy and deviant characters, joyously ramming his protagonists deeper and deeper into frenzied chaos. HIGH school paints its slacker wit with lush broad strokes, firmly accomplishing the conclusive stoner fantasia run hilariously amuck.

The film also stars Sean Marquette, Adrien Brody, Colin Hanks, Mykelti Williamson, Andrew Wilson, Yeardley Smith, Michael Vartan, Curtis Armstrong, Erica Phillips and Adhir Kaylan. Check out 33 photos after the jump.

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