Spike Jonze To Guest Star in ‘Girls Season 4’

Spike Jonze Girls - Spike Jonze in The Wolf of Wall Street

Lena Dunham‘s Girls has had its share of notable guest starring roles: Patrick Wilson as Joshua, June Squibb as Grandma Flo, Donald Glover as Sandy, Gaby Hoffman as Caroline Sackler, Chris O’Dowd as Thomas-John, Colin Quinn as Ray’s cranky boss, John Cameron Mitchell as Hannah’s editor and Rita Wilson as a believably uptight mother to Marnie. HBO has already signed quite a few bigger name guest stars for Season 4 of the comedy series. The list so far includes Gillian Jacobs as Mimi-Rose, Jason Ritter as Scott, Zachary Quinto as unannounced and Natasha Lyonne as Rickey. Today we learn that filmmaker Spike Jonze has been added to that list. Learn more about Spike Jonze Girls guest starring role on, after the jump.

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About Alex trailer

Jesse Zwick‘s About Alex isn’t technically a remake of The Big Chill, but it might as well be. Both films center on groups of college friends who reunite when one of their own, named Alex, tries to kill himself. The difference is that in About Alex, he’s not successful.

Concerned, Alex’s friends plan a getaway weekend so that they can keep an eye on him. Drama predictably ensues as old attractions and new tensions bubble to the surface. Jason Ritter plays the title character, and Aubrey Plaza, Max Greenfield, Maggie Grace, Jane Levy, Max Minghella, and Nate Parker round out his clique. Watch the About Alex trailer after the jump.

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It can be tough to wrangle a truly good performance out of a child actor, for pretty obvious reasons. So it may help if the kid in question has no idea he’s even acting. For his sophomore directorial effort End of Love, actor/filmmaker Mark Webber (you may recognize him as Stephen Stills from Scott Pilgrim) cast his two-year-old son Isaac without explaining to the boy that they were making a movie, and then hired some of his better known actor pals to improvise around Isaac’s blissfully oblivious “performance.”

Webber leads as a youngish father struggling to take care of his son as he grieves the death of his wife (Frankie Shaw, who is also Isaac’s real, non-dead mom). Among the activities he engages in while trying to pull himself together are an audition with Amanda Seyfried, a party at Michael Cera‘s, and an awkward affair with Lydia (Shannyn Sossamon). Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Rapper T.I. has done a few movies (Takers, American Gangster, ATL) but has had his cinematic aspirations derailed by little things like county jail and federal prison stints. But he’s back at work, and in an interview conducted at SXSW, T.I. said that he’s got a couple of film projects on the horizon.

Specifically, the rapper said “there is a Marvel Comic franchise that [has] been inquiring about my availability for some time,” and “we also have a new Tom Cruise film with Doug Liman… I have that as well, on the horizon.” That would be We Mortals Are, once titled All You Need is Kill, the film in which Cruise plays a soldier in a future war who is killed, but has to relive his last hours, Groundhog Day-style, over and over again. I liked one draft of the script quite a bit; the film could be a wild, action-packed and slightly weird experience.

Check the video interview after the break, and get news of Christopher Meloni’s new indie, and the dark comedy that has recruited actors like Gillian Jacobs and Ned Beatty. Read More »

‘A Bag of Hammers’ Trailer

South by Southwest is still going strong down in Austin, Texas and if you’re following along on Twitter, there are a ton of movies that should have hit your radar. Films like Kill List, The FP, Bridesmaids and Attack the Block just to name a few. Another one that seems to have people talking is A Bag of Hammers, one of those classic, festival ready indie comedies starring co-writer Jake Sandvig, Jason Ritter and Rebecca Hall. Directed and co-written by Brian Crano, the film is about two immature friends whose lives are changed when an abandoned child enters their lives. Check out the trailer and more after the break. Read More »

Jesse Eisenberg Joins Cast of ‘Free Samples’

Briefly: You’ve got to appreciate a move like this. Jesse Eisenberg is enjoying justified praise for his work in The Social Network, and will very likely score an Oscar nomination in the deal. So what does he do to follow up the film? He signs on to a small-ish indie dramedy called Free Samples.

The film features Jess Weixler (Teeth) as “a law school drop-out who fills in as a server as a friend’s food truck, where she doles out free samples of ice cream. The job tests her patience, and while she figures out what to do with her life, she finds herself being courted by a young man (Eisenberg) whom she barely remembers from the night before.”

The film is in production now. Jay Gammill (Hello, My Name is Charlie) directs from a script by Jim Beggarly, and Jason Ritter (who was in The Education of Charlie Banks with Eisenberg), Tippi Hedren, Hallie Pfeiffer, Keir O’Donnell, Jocelyn Donahue and Matt Walsh fill out the cast.

Jesse Eisenberg will next be seen in 30 Minutes or Less from his Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer, and voices a character in the animated film Rio. [The Wrap]

trailer1

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

Afterschool Trailer

I have great feelings of amity towards documentaries that pick apart the lives of teens and films that try and get it right with regards to giving us people who seem real, not grown-ups asked to put on varsity jackets.

PBS had a fabulous documentary series years ago called American High and not even last years’ American Teen could capture the level of verisimilitude that’s non-existent in the fluff that passes for teen drama on television today. That’s why movies like Assassination of a High School President, Elephant or even the crowd pleasing Heathers are such an attraction to me; it’s the visceral, evocative explorations into the pain of what it’s like to be a teen and misunderstood as hormones crackle like sparklers.
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Fred Durst‘s directorial debut The Education of Charlie Banks premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival to mostly positive reviews (which surprised most everyone because, well, the film was made by the frontman for the nu metal band Limp Bizkit). And despite positive reviews, the film has remained unreleased. Even Durst’s critically bashed follow-up, the 2008 sports film The Longshots was released last Summer.

But now Anchor Bay is finally going to put Banks in theaters on March 27th, and they have released a theatrical one-sheet poster and a trailer to promote the film. I’ve heard good things and I’m a sucker for coming of age films so I’m interested. However, it’s certainly not the best trailer, and it definitely could have done without the cheesey voice over. Check out both the poster and the trailer after the jump.

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