This weekend’s The Three Stooges doesn’t look too promising (though there are a handful of positive reviews), and last week’s American Reunion was only okay. Fortunately, there are a couple of much more enticing comedies on the horizon. The latest project from producer Judd Apatow‘s laugh factory, The Five-Year Engagement, is due out later this month, followed a few weeks later by the opening of Sacha Baron Cohen‘s newest exercise in politically incorrect insanity, The Dictator.

Because we know that not a one of you feel like working on a Friday afternoon (otherwise, you’d be actually working instead of checking /Film), we’ve got new clips from both. For the less humorously inclined, there’s also another new scene from The Avengers. Hit the jump to watch.

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I can hardly keep track of all the projects David O. Russell has been attached to or rumored for since his Oscar nomination for The Fighter, but here’s another one to add to the list. Recent reports claim that he’s signed on for Sony’s American Bullshit, a 2010 Black List script by Eric Warren Singer that Ben Affleck was eyeing earlier this year. The crime drama recounts the true tale of “Abscam,” a Congressional sting set up in 1980 by the FBI in an effort to eradicate corruption. The operation was masterminded by an individual described as “the world’s greatest con man.”

THR writes that Russell may or may not stick with the movie depending on who gets cast in the two lead roles; one rumor names Christian Bale as a potential star for the project. However, according to Deadline, Russell’s reps have flat-out denied that the filmmaker has anything to do with the picture at all. We’ll have to wait and see how this one pans out, but either way, it’s worth noting that Russell’s involvement is far from a sure thing at this point.

After the jump, Jake Kasdan gets sexy with Jason Segel.

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It’s not like Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the gang ever totally disappeared from the public eye, but last fall’s The Muppets definitely went a long way toward reinvigorating the franchise for a whole new generation. The film was a hit both critically and commercially, and it’s in no way surprising that Disney’s now getting the pieces together to move forward on the sequel.

What’s disappointing, however, is that it seems Jason Segel — who not only starred in, but also wrote and executive produced the The Muppets — won’t be involved in a screenwriting capacity. (Don’t freak out, Gary fans — it’s still possible he’ll star.) Instead, Muppets director James Bobin and original co-writer Nicholas Stoller have closed a deal to pen the script. More details after the jump. Read More »

Aside from a brief appearance by Miss Piggy and Kermit and a win for composer Bret McKenzie, this weekend’s Oscar ceremony was tragically light on the Muppets. But in just a few weeks, fans will be able to get their fill of the gang when the film hits DVD and Blu-ray.

Today, we have a preview of some of the bonus features from The Muppets, including a making-of featurette, a blooper reel, and a deleted scene — plus a clip of Kermit and Glee star Darren Criss performing “Rainbow Connection” for E!’s pre-Oscars show, just because. Watch them after the jump.

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I’m not going to assume that this is true for everyone, but I think a lot of people in my generation and the one or two that follow me have had the “it’s just different now” marriage conversation with some elder family members. For many couples, it takes a lot longer to get to the point where marriage seems like the best step to take, and even after getting engaged, the path to the altar isn’t always a short one.

So here are Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel, the team behind Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the co-writers of The Muppets, to toy with that generational attitude towards marriage in The Five-Year Engagement. Based on this new trailer, the film appears to take a gently comic approach to telling the story of a couple (Segel and Emily Blunt) whose nuptials are continually preempted by other life events. Check it out below. Read More »

‘The Muppets’ – What Did You Think?

After a long promotional runup that included a never-ending string of parody trailers, photo shoots and gleeful audio experiments, The Muppets is finally in theaters. Jason Segel‘s loving ode to Jim Henson‘s puppet troupe combines some winking modern showmanship with a whole lot of love for the Muppets and what they have always represented in pop culture. Because the Muppets mean a lot to many of our readers, it is possible that the film has a difficult standard to live up to.

So the question is: did director James Bobin, co-writers Segel and Nicholas Stoller, songwriter Bret McKenzie, co-stars Amy Adams, Jack Black, Chris Cooper and all the Muppet puppeteers manage to craft a modern Muppet vision that jibes with the classic image of the characters? Tell us what you thought in the comments after the jump. As always, spoilers are fully cleared to go in this discussion. Read More »

‘The Muppets’ Review: Reunited, and It Feels So Good

For those who came of age any time between the ’50s and the ’90s, the Crayola-colored felt faces of the Muppets hold a certain unshakeable allure. Kermit’s familiar green visage is a face I grew up with, and I still have a knee-jerk tendency to break out in a smile whenever I see him or his pals. While the Muppets have never entirely left the public consciousness, they’re hardly the ubiquitous powerhouse they once were. This year’s The Muppets marks the first real introduction for a whole generation of kids who were born too late to remember 1999′s Muppets in Space, let alone 1979′s The Muppet Movie.

So if The Muppets coasts just a tiny bit on the goodwill that people like me still reserve for them, I’m pleased to say it’s still a solid enough film to appeal to the uninitiated while also pleasing old(er) fogies who recall them fondly from past decades. Which, not coincidentally, is also the characters’ goal within the storyline itself.

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Frequent collaborators Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller may have toned down their raunchy humor for The Muppets script, but they could be diving back into adult-themed material with Sex Tape. Stoller is in talks to direct the raunchy comedy, written by Kate Angelo, while Segel has been offered the male lead. Though neither has officially signed on just yet, given the material and their proclivity for working together, it seems reasonably likely they’ll ultimately board the project together.

Less certain is who’ll play Segel’s co-star, should he sign on. Though Reese Witherspoon is Sony’s top choice, the A-list actress is apparently a long shot. Happily, the studio already has a shortlist of other strong candidates, which include some of the usual suspects. More details after the jump.

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