Disney fans, and /Film readers, are likely aware that major Hollywood stars have been dressing up like Disney characters. It’s not as bad as it sounds. In the past few years we’ve seen Olivia Wilde as the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella, Jessica Biel as Pocahontas and many others dressing up to help promote the Disney brand.

The trend now continues. Legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz has done her 2012 Disney Dream portraits and they feature Russell Brand as Captain Hook from Peter Pan, and Jack Black, Will Ferrell and Jason Segel as Phineas, Ezra and Gus, the Hitchhiking Ghosts from The Haunted Mansion. It’s the first time the series has featured characters who originated in a theme park and not in a movie. Check them out below. Read More »

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VOTD: The Cameo-Crazy Return of ‘Tenacious D’

Jack Black and Kyle Gass‘ comedy sketch duo / band / meta-project Tenacious D has been quiet since around 2008, after the relative failure of their film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. For the past couple years both guys have said that a new record would be forthcoming, and now Rize of the Fenix is on the way.

To celebrate the return of the D, the duo put together a short film chronicling the failure of the feature film, and the trouble-plagued days that followed. It stars off slow, but then Val Kilmer shows up to give it a boost of energy, and then the thing takes off into a cute Rocky III-style training montage that makes me want to throw The Complete Masterworks DVD in the player for the first time in years.

Check out the return of the D in To Be the Best below. Read More »

Richard Linklater‘s new film Bernie is a strange thing: a sort of comedy based on a true story in which a well-liked small town mortician, played by Jack Black, befriended a not-so well liked older widow, played by Shirley MacLaine… and reportedly murdered her. But it isn’t just the story that is strange: Bernie is co-written by Skip Hollandsworth, who wrote the Texas Monthly article that inspired the film, and it features interviews with the residents of the town where the actual story took place.

The new trailer for the film, which premiered last year at the LA Film Festival and will soon play SXSW, shows the movie’s comic tone, but also points to a more interesting aspect, thanks to the inclusion of some of the interviews with actual residents. Read More »

Starting with Being John Malkovich, Charlie Kaufman‘s scripts have generally attracted top-level talent, and a quick glance at the cast list indicates that Frank or Francis will be no exception. Elizabeth Banks and Paul Reubens have just become the latest additions to Kaufman’s Hollywood-skewering musical satire, joining Steve CarellJack Black, Nicolas Cage, Catherine Keener, and Kevin Kline. Read more after the jump.

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‘The Muppets’ – What Did You Think?

After a long promotional runup that included a never-ending string of parody trailers, photo shoots and gleeful audio experiments, The Muppets is finally in theaters. Jason Segel‘s loving ode to Jim Henson‘s puppet troupe combines some winking modern showmanship with a whole lot of love for the Muppets and what they have always represented in pop culture. Because the Muppets mean a lot to many of our readers, it is possible that the film has a difficult standard to live up to.

So the question is: did director James Bobin, co-writers Segel and Nicholas Stoller, songwriter Bret McKenzie, co-stars Amy Adams, Jack Black, Chris Cooper and all the Muppet puppeteers manage to craft a modern Muppet vision that jibes with the classic image of the characters? Tell us what you thought in the comments after the jump. As always, spoilers are fully cleared to go in this discussion. Read More »

Below you’ll find a minute of the opening of Disney’s The Muppets, whcih hits screens on November 23. The scene is a fun little song and dance number that introduces new Muppet Walter and his human friend Gary, played by the film’s co-writer Jason Segel.

This is a pretty effortlessly charming little piece of film that helps sell The Muppets as a film that still has at least one foot firmly planted in the classic musical storytelling style that always made the show a small wonder. I think you’ll like it. Read More »

We already knew a little bit about Frank or Francis, Charlie Kaufman‘s second directorial effort after his insanely ambitious, gloriously bizarre Synecdoche, New York. Basically, we were aware that it existed, that Nicolas Cage, Steve Carrell, and Jack Black had signed on, and that the film would revolve primarily around the feud between an Internet blogger and a Hollywood director. But this being Kaufman, of course, there was bound to be a whole lot more to the project than that.

Now, we have lots more details on the story — and the more I learn, the more I’m dying to see this film. After the jump, read all about the script, and find out which very weird role(s) Kevin Kline has just been cast in.

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That bird watching movie now has a trailer and apparently it’s about more than just bird watching. The Big Year stars Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson as three friends who decide to take a year off from the lives and do the things they’ve always wanted to do. Which includes, but is not limited to, bird watching. Directed by David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) the comedy opens October 14. Check out the first trailer and poster after the jump. Read More »

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