Justin Reardon‘s feature directing debut A Many Splintered Thing isn’t even out yet, but he already seems to have a knack for attracting strong on-camera talent. The star-studded ensemble for that film includes Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Giovanni Ribisi, Audrey Plaza, Anthony Mackie, and Luke Wilson, for starters. Now Jennifer Aniston, Mark Duplass, and Ben Kingsley have attached themselves to his sophomore effort, Convention.

The film is billed as a sci-fi comedy, which isn’t such an unusual genre combination. However, this one sounds intriguingly offbeat, as the marketing materials reference Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich for comparison. Hit the jump for more details.

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As the race for the year’s most coveted trophies came to a close with this weekend’s Oscars ceremony, another much less prestigious awards competition was just getting started. Nominations have been announced for the 32nd Razzie Awards, handed out to the “worst achievements in film” each year.

Leading the 2012 list is Adam Sandler, whose involvement in Jack and Jill, Bucky Larson, and Just Go With It earned him a record-breaking eleven Razzie nominations. That’s more than twice as many as the previous record holder, Norbit star Eddie Murphy, received in 2007. Other standouts include Nicolas Cage, Ken Jeong, Sarah Palin, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I, and The Hangover Part II. Read the full list of nominees after the jump.

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Wanderlust, from director David Wain (The State, Wet Hot American Summer) and co-writer Ken Marino, outlines and explores a premise that will probably resonate with many people: a young couple, navigating the grind of city life but trapped by their own fears and inadequacies, is forced to leave the city and take refuge with family by dual economic misfortunes.

Well, that part of the premise might resonate. The next bit is perhaps less familiar: the couple’s final destination ends up being Elysium, a commune-like community where their frigid inability to relax is cracked and thawed by an ultra-crunchy lifestyle. (Admittedly, the attentions of a couple of sexually aggressive residents doesn’t hurt.)

For the most part, Wanderlust isn’t a deep character study or a particularly perceptive dissection of human nature. (For something closer to that, see Lukas Moodysson’s Together, which was likely an inspiration for Wain.) This is more like seeing the funhouse mirror caricatures of Wet Hot American Summer grown to adulthood. This film doesn’t quite celebrate the same sense of absurdity, and doing so — living up to one of the film’s own arguments, you could say — might make it more of a keeper. Yet Wanderlust is possessed of a strong  enough free spirit that you might want to join its (almost) free-love drum circle just the same. Read More »

I like David Wain‘s work a lot. The State was just wonderful; Wet Hot American Summer is an oddball classic; and even something more routine, like The Ten and Role Models, can be a decent bit of entertainment. Wain’s new movie, while we wait for the rumors about a WHAS sequel/prequel to come true, is Wanderlust. The movie features Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston as a couple that escapes NYC and ends up in a sort of hippie commune en route to Atlanta.

We’ve seen an all-audiences trailer, but with the movie set to hit theaters in just over a week, Universal has released a red-band trailer. As you might expect, it is speckled with bad language and a lot of not at all subtle sexual humor. Check it out below, and predict where Wanderlust might rank on Wain’s career-best list. Read More »

There are plenty of reasons to skip Katherine Heigl‘s One for the Money, starting with its truly pathetic score of 3% on Rotten Tomatoes. And based on its weak opening performance this past weekend, it seems most moviegoers are already well aware of what those reasons are. But just in case you needed one more, there’s also the fact that you may have already seen One for the Money before — in the form of a 2010 Jennifer Aniston / Gerard Butler movie called The Bounty Hunter.

After the jump, check out a mashed-up trailer that makes the very convincing argument that One for the Money may just be warmed-over version of The Bounty Hunter.

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The answer is “yes,” Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston have been in a movie together before. It’s called The Object of My Affection, which was released in 1998. The reason you kind of remembered it existed is that it’s forgettable.

Wanderlust doesn’t look forgettable at all. This film is directed by David Wain (Role Models, Wet Hot American Summer) and features the actors on a life affirming journey out of New York City eventually ending up at a very laid back commune filled with colorful characters played by Malin Akerman, Justin Theroux, Joe Lo Truglio and Alan Alda.

Does it sound cheesy? The answer, again, is “yes.” But this first trailer really makes the film look like it’ll rise above that. Check it out after the jump. Read More »

VOTD: 25 Actors Before They Were Famous, in 3 Minutes

I’ve always had this fascination with seeing current rich and famous figures in their humble beginnings, and the success of tabloid columns and webpages devoted to that very topic suggest I’m not the only one. When some A-list faces are as familiar to us as those of our actual loved ones, seeing long-ago photos or videos of them is amusing in the same way that seeing pictures of your friends as little kids is amusing. “Before They Were Famous: 25 Actors in 3 Minutes” collects some especially amusing snippets of today’s biggest stars, including Angelina Jolie, Ryan Gosling, Jack Nicholson, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, in some of their earliest acting gigs. Watch the video after the jump.

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For a movie that hinges on a murder plot, Horrible Bosses feels surprisingly lighthearted. That’s because despite the title and the marketing, the film’s draw isn’t the fucked-up wish fulfillment of giving your dirtbag superior what he deserves. Instead, its appeal lies in the easy, enjoyable chemistry of its leads — Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis – and the fun of watching them screw up royally, over and over, in increasingly zany ways. To put it another way, it’s Office Space meets Apatovian buddy comedy, minus the dark stuff and the sweet bits but with more consistent laughs as a result.

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