jason reitman live read

There are less than 24 hours until the big event and Captain America is out. The text comes in at 11:20 p.m. on Wednesday March 18. For the past two weeks, I’ve been talking regularly to writer/director Jason Reitman about the latest installment in his Live Read series, the ongoing set of performances at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in which he assembles famous casts to read famous scripts from famous movies as a one-night only event. We’ve been covering them for a long time. For the final one of this season, I wanted to know how it was done.

This Live Read was to be Dazed and Confused by Richard Linklater, a sprawling coming of age film with a huge cast of characters, many of whom have become iconic for moviegoers. The most iconic is Wooderson, played by Matthew McConaughey. It’s a small role, and one that Reitman thought he had cast months before the event.

Reitman was at the 87th Annual Academy Awards back in February representing Whiplash, a Best Picture nominee he produced. There he ran into Captain American actor Chris Evans and asked him if he wanted to read the role of Wooderson. Evans enthusiastically agreed and was on board… until less than 24 hours before the event, when he had to drop out. “He had a sincere personal reason to pull out,” Reitman writes via text. “He’s an incredibly decent and lovely guy.” Nevertheless, Captain America has caused a bit of a problem.

Below, find out both how that turned out and the entire making of story behind the Jason Reitman Live Read of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused Live Read. Read More »

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Dazed and Confused Linklater

The great thing about Dazed and Confused? I get older and it stays the same age.

Twenty-two years after Richard Linklater‘s ’70s slice of life film hit theaters, listening to it read by a group of actors still feels as poignant and relevant as ever. Maybe the music and references have changed a bit but a teenager’s insecurities, rebellious nature and mischievousness are and will continue to be universal. In Linklater’s script those ideas are delivered with an almost unfairly simple and eloquent precision.

At Thursday’s Live Read, presented by Film Independent at LACMA, Jason Reitman brought together a group of actors to read the script and, yes, the huge cast of characters made things a little confusing. In back-to-back scenes, an actor might have to jump from nerd to cool guy to stoner, giving the whole evening an unpredictable energy. It was even more unpredictable as they were reading an earlier version of the script that had some huge differences from the final film.

Below, we’ll break down those script changes, the cast, some of the crazy performances, and talk about how even in a form that’s unfamiliar to most of us, Dazed and Confused remains as good as ever. Read More »

Adult Beginners

Based on the cast list, you’d probably think Ross Katz‘s Adult Beginners was a broad comedy. The lead is Nick Kroll of Kroll Show and The League fame; co-stars include SNL‘s Bobby Moynihan, Community‘s Joel McHale, 30 Rock‘s Jane Krakowski, and comedians Mike Birbiglia and Jason Mantzoukas.

But while the Adult Beginners has some laughs, it’s really more of a gentle dramedy. Kroll plays an entrepreneur whose career is in tatters. In an effort to rebuild his life, he moves in with his sister (Rose Byrne), her husband (Bobby Cannavale), and their young son. Watch the Adult Beginners trailer after the jump.  Read More »

Diner Live Read Header

Usually when I go to a Live Read, I know the movie like the back of my hand. Ghostbusters, Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects, American Beauty, these are all movies I’ve seen dozens of times and know backwards and forwards. However, the November reading was a film I’d never seen until this week: Barry Levinson‘s Diner. It totally deserves to be mentioned among those films, but it somehow fell through the cracks in my years as a film fan. It’s as timeless, funny and poignant as any movie I’ve ever seen.

Watching the film, I began to worry about the Live Read. Sure this was a movie with dynamic characters based on a razor sharp script, but Levinson’s film also created such a perfect atmosphere. The movie was 1959 Baltimore, from the weather to the locations, outfits and the music. Oh, the music. Diner is a jukebox full of awesome tunes and the Live Reads don’t play music during the read. Was it going to work out?

Presenter and director Jason Reitman had an answer for that. To make the script move at a clip worthy of its amazing original cast, and to make the audience forget there was no music or settings to enhance it, he’d need actors who are incredibly familiar with each other. Actors with an ability to deliver filthy dialogue very fast, have perfect chemistry, talk a ton of crap and dish about football. How about the cast of FXX’s The League?

Yes, almost the entire cast of The League read Barry Levinson’s Diner at latest Jason Reitman Live Read, presented Film Independent at LACMA. Below, read what the cast brought to the script and what the script revealed about itself.  Read More »

Space Jam Live Read

Generally when a group puts on a live read, they pick a script of reverence. An Oscar-winner like The Usual Suspects, a classic comedy like Groundhog Day or Ghostbusters, maybe a stage masterpiece like Glengarry Glen Ross. When Funny or Die does it, they go a little out of the box. They do Space Jam.

Michael Jordan famously starred in the 1996 animated hit, which blended live actors with the Looney Tunes in a sci-fi, comedic, basketball romp. For kids of that era, the film became a classic. For anyone who has seen it since, it doesn’t quite hold up. But it’s fun, with a nostalgic appeal, and so Funny or Die recruited an all-star cast to read the script. Literally. NBA All-Star Blake Griffin read the role of Jordan and a slew of comedians and actors filled in the other roles, such as Seth Green, Ralph Garman, Danielle Fishel, Paul Scheer, Nick Kroll and others.

Below, watch – not the whole thing – but a good 10-minute highlight of the Space Jam live read. Read More »

Pulp Fiction Live Read

There’s absolutely no need to touch Quentin Tarantino‘s Pulp Fiction. Built around an Academy Award winning screenplay, the film is pretty much perfect from beginning to end. It teems with exquisite detail as performances and dialogue tell interweaving stories of crime and craziness. A reinforcement of that absolute brilliance was the main thing I took out of the latest Film Independent at LACMA Live Read, which took place February 20 in Los Angeles. Director Evan Goldberg (This is the End) subbed for Jason Reitman and assembled an eclectic, star-studded cast to read Tarantino’s masterwork. It was a two and a half hour celebration of Pulp Fiction‘s perfection.

While no one could ever replace the iconic cast of John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman and so many others, stars like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Lizzie Caplan laughed, imitated and sometimes stumbled through the script with excitement and reverence. Along the way, a few Easter Eggs were uncovered, alternate interpretations attempted and much fun was had. Read about the live read below. Read More »

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Post Comic Con Stress Disorder

Each year, we at /Film look forward to the madness that is Comic-Con: the buzzy Hall H panels, the boozy after-parties, the eye-popping cosplayers, the extravagant booths, the exclusive collectibles, all of it. It’s sensory overload at its geekiest, and though we’re typically bone-tired by the end, we’d also be lying if we said we weren’t excited to do it all again next year.

But for some Comic-Con attendees, according to comedian Nick Kroll, that last part is turning out to be a problem. You see, there’s something called Post Comic-Con Stress Disorder, in the rest of life just can’t live up to those four glorious days in San Diego. Fortunately, he’s got some tips on how to stave off the ennui that begins once Comic-Con ends. Check out his very helpful PSA after the jump.

Read More »