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While the mainstream is fetishizing the ’90s, a crew is still looking back at the forgotten corners of ’80s pop culture. IFC mini-series The Spoils of Babylon is from exec producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Matt Piedmont, Andrew Steele and Nate Young. (Steele and Piedmont wrote.) It is designed as a spoof of ’80s event television, and skewers stuff like The Thorn Birds; beach lit stories that, in their small-screen incarnations, are forgotten by most people who weren’t around to watch them the first time.

The series is about the Morehouse oil tycoon family, with Tobey Maguire, Tim Robbins and Kristen Wiig among the leads. (Jessica Alba, Jelly Howie, Val Kilmer, Michael Sheen, and Steve Tom also show up.) Below, watch a trailer in which Maguire narrates a brief history of the family, culminating with the ominous memory of the Morehouse son Winston. Read More »

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Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are living in the past. The modern TV “event series” has its roots in, well, Roots, and other mini-series adaptations of popular epic fiction. The late ’70s and early ’80s saw a rash of highly-touted adaptations of historical novels and family sagas, with the runaway success of Roots followed by Jesus of Nazareth, Shogun, The Thorn Birds, The Winds of War, and many more.

The basic format has changed little today — you’ll still see mini-series novel adaptations with a high-profile cast and a budget that outstrips some television. but there’s a way of advertising these events that has changed a little bit.

For their IFC mini-series The Spoils of Babylon, Ferrell and McKay are taking aim at those TV events, and they’ve appropriated the old ’80s ad style to go along with it. Or a comic version of it, at least. I don’t know if this will work on people under 30, but anyone who was watching TV in the late ’70s and early ’80s will chuckle at this spot. (The series features Ferrell, Kristin Wiig, Tobey Maguire, Jessica Alba, Michael Sheen, Val Kilmer, Tim Robbins and Haley Joel Osment, but none of them show up in this teaser, just warning.) Read More »

We all have our favorite “so bad they’re good” movies. They’re films with poorly written scripts and terrible performances, but huge entertainment value due to, or in spite of, near-total incompetence. Casa de mi Padre, Will Ferrell‘s Spanish-language comedy, was conceived and executed to be one of those films. It’s filled with totally self-aware mistakes in editing and production design. It has wooden performances and crappy dialogue. The idea was those gags, coupled with the fact that everyone is speaking Spanish, should be funny.

What Ferrell, director Matt Piedmont and writer Andrew Steele neglected to realize, though, is the reason “so bad they’re good” films usually gain that moniker is that the filmmakers crafted every moment with the best intentions… they just failed miserably. The Casa de mi Padre team is making a bad movie on purpose so those “best intentions” aren’t there. That, in turn, sucks the heart out of the film. As a result, it just lays on the screen lingering in mediocrity. And there are no “so mediocre they’re good” movies. Read More »


Many months ago we saw a rough quality teaser trailer for Casa de mi Padre, the Spanish-language comedy starring Will Ferrell, Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna. Now, with US distribution set via the small label Pantelion Films, we’ve got a much better quality teaser that will give you the basic setup of the movie. Check it out below. Read More »

Last year, Will Ferrell shot a Spanish-language comedy called Casa de mi Padre, with co-stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna. The movie seems to be both a loving ode to and a send-up of classic Mexican telenovellas. A trailer appeared in April and was taken down not long afterward, but we haven’t heard much at all about the film since then.

Now a small label, Pantelion Films, has picked up US distribution rights to Casa de mi Padre and will have the movie in theaters on March 16, 2012. Read More »

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Funny or Die Presents director Matt Piedmont will soon be directing Will Ferrell in the Spanish-language comedy Casa de mi padre. That’s odd enough, and now Ferrell has two great co-stars: Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, who are making quite the career of working in films together. (They’ve acted opposite one another in Y tu mamá también and Rudo y Cursi, and exec produced films like Sin Nombre and Sólo quiero caminar, in which Luna also starred.) But working opposite Farrell could be something altogether different. Read More »

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