Mike Birbiglia improv movie

Welcome to The Water Cooler, a weekly feature where the /Film staff is free to go off-topic and talk about everything except the movies and TV shows they normally write about. In this edition: Ethan saw Mike Birbiglia‘s new stand-up special live in person, Hoai-Tran has been reading a current best-seller, Peter attends a secret magic show, Ben read a classic Agatha Christie mystery novel, Chris attempts to get over his fear of flying, and Jacob explains the nightmare of buying a new house.

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2017 Netflix Stand-Up Specials - Dave Chappelle

As Netflix has started to increase their library of stand-up specials, we haven’t been shy about calling the streaming service the new king of stand-up comedy. While HBO was once the prime destination for exclusive, high quality stand-up acts, they haven’t been as dedicated to the cause in recent years. The cable subscription service still has a fantastic library of stand-up available through HBO GO, and every now and then they come out with a great new special (Pete Holmes being the most recent example), but Netflix has been locking down some of the biggest names in the business for exclusive deals, and that’s just the beginning.

And here we are: there will be new 2017 Netflix stand-up specials arriving every single week. Let’s dive into the growing Netflix stand-up comedy library below.

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Mike Birbiglia and Louis CK Netflix Specials

Right now you’ll find a slew of stand-up comedy specials that are available exclusively on Netflix. The streaming service has become a stellar home for new stand-up specials from the best comedians working today. Over the past few months, they’ve only solidified their dedication to the craft by doling out new deals for Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld.

Today, we have two more reasons to be excited about Netflix’s championing of stand-up comedy. First, Sleepwalk with Me and Don’t Think Twice writer and director Mike Birbiglia has an all-new stand-up special called Thank God for Jokes coming to the streaming service next week, and the first trailer has just been unleashed. Second, Louis C.K. has been added to the roster of comedians with deals for exclusive stand-up specials on Netflix. Read More »

Moonlight

We’ve already started posting our own retrospective lists of the Top 10 Movies of 2016, each one different from the next (Jacob Hall and David Chen have posted their lists so far), and next week will bring our cumulative list of /Film’s Top 15 Movies of 2016. In the meantime, why not find out which movies some of the most buzzed about directors loved this year?

A batch of filmmakers like Paul Feig (Ghostbusters), Chris Kelly (Other People), David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon), Mike Birbiglia (Don’t Think Twice), The Daniels (Swiss Army Man), Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), Jay Duplass (Cyrus), Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said), Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) and many more each compiled a list of their favorite films from this year, and we’ve highlighted some of them to check out. Read More »

Don't Think Twice Viral Video

Playing in 100 locations around the country right now is the sophomore writing/directing effort of comedian turned filmmaker Mike Birbiglia. He made a splash at Sundance a few years ago with the charming, semi-autobiographical Sleepwalk with Me, and now he’s back with a movie called Don’t Think Twice, focusing on a group of tight-knit friends in an improv troupe. The film is in the same vein as Broadcast News and other films from James L. Brooks, just set in the world of improv comedy, and it’s truly a must-see.

Now in an efforts to help promote the movie, producers forced Mike Birbiglia to create a viral video to make more people aware of the movie. Sadly, this resulted in cast members Gillian Jacobs (Community), Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele), Kate Micucci (Garfunkel and Oates), Chris Gethard (Broad City), and Tami Sagher (Inside Amy Schumer) all getting the viral video virus. Watch the Don’t Think Twice viral video after the jump. Read More »

Don't Think Twice

Mike Birbiglia started out as a stand-up comedian before transitioning into filmmaking with 2011’s loosely autobiographical Sleepwalk With Me, based on one of his stand-up acts. It was solid and sweet and lots of fun, but it’s his second film, Don’t Think Twice, that should really mark him as an indie director to watch.

The dramedy, which premiered at SXSW this spring and is now headed for a summer release, follows the members of a scrappy New York improv troupe played by Birbiglia, Gillian Jacobs, Keegan-Michael Key, Chris Gethard, Kate Micucci, and Tami Sagher. The close-knit circle finds itself in disarray when one of their number gets catches a huge break. It’s laugh-out-loud hilarious and painfully honest and above all, deeply empathetic, and it’ll ring all too true to anyone who’s ever found themselves feeling stuck in life. Watch the Don’t Think Twice trailer after the jump. Read More »

don't think twice review

Good comedy is the result of long-simmering pain. A comedian struggles on stage, bombing in front of impatient audiences, for years before learning how to be funny. A hilarious actor waits tables while desperately hoping to get cast in that first defining role. And even after so much suffering and so much hard work, the vast majority of talented people still slip through the cracks, watching as others, sometimes friends, stumble into big breaks.

This is the world of Mike Birbiglia‘s Don’t Think Twice, a thoughtful comedy tinged with both melancholy and hope. Set within the New York City improv comedy scene, Birbiglia’s sophomore effort as a director captures the joy of creation and the agony of creative stagnation – anyone who has ever struggled to make something will laugh and cry and find a great deal of the film hitting very close to home.

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Mike Birbiglia improv movie

If you’re a fan of stand-up comedy, I hope that you’ve discovered the work of Mike Birbiglia. If not, Netflix Instant currently has two of his comedy specials, What I Should Have Said Was Nothing: Tales from My Secret Public Journal and My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, and I recommend watching them immediately.

In addition, Birbiglia also made his directorial debut with his auto-biographical indie comedy Sleepwalk with Me, which played at the Sundance Film Festival back in 2012. Like Birbiglia’s comedy, it’s definitely worth watching. And now Birbiglia has just started production on his sophomore directing effort, a movie set in the world of improv called Don’t Think Twice. Read More »

Trainwreck - Amy Schumer and Bill Hader

If you’ve seen even a little bit of her Comedy Central series, you already know that Amy Schumer one of the funniest actresses on the small screen. Now she’s poised to take over the big screen as well, as the writer and star of Judd Apatow‘s Trainwreck.

Schumer plays a woman who’s utterly allergic to commitment. Actually, “commitment” seems like too strong a word — based on the Trainwreck trailer, she doesn’t even like getting to the second date if she can help it. Enter a handsome doctor played by Bill Hader, who threatens to upend her life.

The supporting cast is equally stellar, with Vanessa Bayer and Lebron James(!) as Schumer and Hader’s supportive pals, Tilda Swinton as Schumer’s boss, and much much more. Watch the first Trainwreck trailer after the jump.

Update: A Trainwreck red-band trailer has also hit, with more raunchy jokes. Plus, a new poster and new stills — see it all below. Read More »

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john cena tilda swinton

Judd Apatow‘s next film, Trainwreck, has just filled out its cast. Apatow will direct a script written by and starring Amy Schumer. Now almost a dozen new actors have joined a cast which already included Bill Hader, Brie Larson and Colin Quinn. They are recent Oscar nominee Barkhad Abdi, comedian and director Mike Birbiglia, Girls neighbor Jon Glaser, SNL MVP Vanessa Bayer, WWE superstar John CenaPerks of Being A Wallflower star Ezra Miller and last, but definitely not least, Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton. The film is scheduled for release July 24, 2015. Read More »