Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow had a pretty great idea for a script: take a wacky real-life classified ad, one looking for a time-travel partner, and expand it into a strange comedy. The result is Trevorrow’s film Safety Not Guaranteed, which wowed Pete at Sundance and was quickly picked up for distribution.

Watching this first trailer for the film, I can see why Pete responded so well to the project. Aubrey Plaza looks great as one of two magazine interns an editor (Jake Johnson) takes along to track down and interview the guy (Mark Duplass) who placed the ad. The trailer makes the film out to be living right in the sweet spot between warm and weird comedy, and while I get the idea that this shows me quite a lot, I still want to see the full film. Read More »

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Safety Not Guaranteed starts out with a simple premise: Three employees from a Seattle weekly magazine are assigned to go on a trip to find and interview a guy who placed a mysterious classified ad seeking a companion for time travel. (The ad is seen above).

Was it a joke? Or is the guy crazy? Intern Darius Britt (Aubrey Plaza) is sent in to try to uncover the true story. Darius joins Kenneth Calloway’s (Mark Duplass) time travel mission and forms a friendship with this seemingly delusional man. With Government-style suited men in hot pursuit, Darius is unsure if she has been implicated in something illegal or if Kenneth is actually telling the truth. And Darius has gotten too close to Kenneth to betray him or know for sure.

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The most exciting and most stressful part of any fall premiere season is sifting through all the brand-new pilots, so it helps to get started early if you can. Like right now, even. Fox has just released the pilot for one of its most highly anticipated new shows, New Girl, on iTunes, two whole weeks early. The episode will also hit Hulu and Fox.com well in advance of its official September 20 premiere date.

The half-hour comedy revolves around Jess (Zooey Deschanel at her Zooey Deschanel-iest), who finds herself moving in with three guys in the aftermath of a bad breakup. Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield (Officer Leo from Veronica Mars!), and Damon Wayans, Jr. star in the pilot as her new roommates. (Lamorne Morris will replace Wayans in subsequent episodes; Wayans left New Girl after his adorable but underwatched Happy Endings was unexpectedly picked up for a second season.) Hannah Simone rounds out the cast as Jess’ best friend, who’s street smart and cynical where Jess is naive and endlessly positive. More details after the jump.

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Funny folks Jeff Garlin and Mary Lynn Rajskub have signed on for Safety Not Guaranteed, which will also star Kristen Bell, Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Recreation), Lynn Shelton (Humpday), Jenica Bergere (Rat Race), Jake Johnson (No Strings Attached), Mark Duplass, and newcomer Karan Soni. The comedy centers around “three magazine employees sent to investigate a classified ad from a man seeking a partner for time travel” and is based on an actual ad that was once featured on the Jay Leno Show.

Safety Not Guaranteed will be the first feature by Colin Trevorrow, who is directing from Derek Connolly‘s original screenplay. Big Beach Films (Little Miss Sunshine) and Duplass Brothers Productions (The Puffy Chair) are producing, which should probably give you some hint as to what kind of humor and general vibe we can expect. The film is currently shooting in Seattle. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, Hilary Swank considers co-starring with Jeremy Renner and a Silence of the Lambs parody musical hits Off Broadway.

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OK, this is getting ridiculous. The latest bit of news on the John Gotti biopic front (Gotti: Three Generations just lost Nick Cassavetes as director earlier this week) is that Lindsay Lohan is no longer in consideration to play Victoria Gotti. Producer Marc Fiore told People that talks with her reps had stopped, but didn’t offer much by way of explanation. That seems to be the way it goes with Lindsay Lohan these days.

More to the point, how things seem to go with her these days is ‘crazy,’ and the story has already taken another turn. Just as I was about to publish this, TMZ comes out with the report that Lindsay Lohan is in the film after all, but now playing John Gotti Jr.’s daughter-in-law Kim, rather than Victoria Gotti. A smaller part? Probably. The report also links her to another movie called Mob Street. There are reports of reconciliation between her and producers, and, well, let’s see how long this lasts.

After the break, Jacki Weaver goes comic and 21 Jump Street adds another. Read More »

‘No Strings Attached’ Red Band Movie Trailer

Paramount Pictures has released a red band movie trailer for Ghostbusters/Meatballs director Ivan Reitman‘s new comedy No Strings Attached. The movie follows a lonely doctor who gets lucky with a pretty co-worker (played by Natalie Portman) in a “comedy about the complications of friends with benefits.” The film costars Ashton Kutcher, Greta Gerwig, Mindy Kaling, Olivia Thirlby, Kevin Kline, Lake Bell, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, and the next breakout comedy actor (in my opinion) Jake Johnson.

The film actually started out with another title, Fuckbuddies. Of course, Paramount didn’t want to face the problems associated with releasing a movie under that title, so they changed it to Friends With Benefits, which eventually got changed into the truly horrible title No Strings Attached (at least they didn’t go with “No Strings”, the abbreviated title they were testing). The reason they moved on from Friends With Benefits is that another film had already staked claim to the title Friends With Benefits. A day after Paramount released the first trailer for No Strings Attached, Screen Gems released a red band movie for their R-Rated romantic comedy starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis featuring a very similar premise. I thought that must be what makes them different — one is raunchy, and the other isn’t. Looks like I was wrong.

It seems like Paramount is following suit, and has released their own red band trailer. This is one of those red band trailers which is out to prove the movie isn’t just a cookie cutter comedy and is a filthy r-rated movie. So in other words, how many cuts of swears, nudity and sex can you fit into three minutes (not that that’s a bad thing…). Watch it now embedded after the jump.
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Paramount Pictures has released the first movie trailer for Ghostbusters/Meatballs director Ivan Reitman‘s new comedy No Strings Attached. The movie follows a lonely doctor (played by Cary Elwes) who gets lucky with a pretty co-worker (played by Natalie Portman) in a “comedy about the complications of friends with benefits.”

A guy and girl try to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it’s not long before they learn that they want something more.

The film costars Ashton Kutcher, Greta Gerwig, Mindy Kaling, Olivia Thirlby, Kevin Kline, Cary Elwes, Lake Bell, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, and the next breakout comedy actor (in my opinion) Jake Johnson. Watch it now embedded after the jump.
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TIFF Movie Review: Max Winkler’s Ceremony

Yesterday, I attended the premiere of Max Winkler‘s feature directorial debut Ceremony at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The 27-year old USC film school graduate and son of television actor Henry Winkler (Fonzie on Happy Days) is probably best known as the director of the popular Clark and Michael web series which starred Michael Cera and Clark Duke. In 2005, he co-wrote and co-directed a short film titled The King of Central Park, which screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, Malibu International Film Festival and Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The short is wonderfully awkward, sometimes Wes Anderson-like, especially in the music, use of slow motion and symmetrical framing.

You could definitely see he has a unique voice and sense of comedy, which led to a few writing assignments: He co-wrote The Adventurer’s Handbook with Jonah Hill and Matt Spicer, which SNL Digital Shorts/Hot Rod helmer Akiva Schaffer is attached to direct at Universal. He also co-wrote a football script, a big screen adaptation of the short story Whispers in Bedlam for Jason Reitman.

He has been trying to get a feature film off the ground for the past few years. He sold a Charlie Kaufman-esque script to Fox Searchlight titled The Ornate Anatomy of Living Things, about a “bookstore clerk living in Manhattan discovers a museum run by a strange old man that exists solely for the purpose of studying his life.” But for some reason or another, the project never went into production. He has instead decided to take the low budget approach and independently produced his debut feature.

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