Sing Trailer

Illumination Entertainment has a couple of new animated movies hitting theaters this year. The first is the animal adventure The Secret Life of Pets, arriving this summer. But just before Christmas, Illumination will get musical with Sing. In what is basically Zootopia meets American Idol, one koala (Matthew McConaughey) decides to put on a huge singing competition to save his theater, and some average animals with incredible pipes look at it as their opportunity for a better life. Of course, it’s all fueled by an endless array of popular songs from yesterday and today.

Watch the new Sing trailer after the jump. Read More »

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Sausage Party Trailer

In addition to bringing some comedy to summer this weekend with Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, we’ll get more of Seth Rogen to close out the summer later this year with his raunchy animated adventure Sausage Party. The film is basically an R-rated Pixar movie following a group of friends who just so happen to be foods in a grocery store. Their lot in life is to be chosen by people and taken home in a glorious manner. But then they learn what people really do with food when they get it home, and that’s when all hell breaks loose.

A new Sausage Party trailer has arrived, and it’s basically the green band version of the red band trailer that was released a little while back. However, there are some new laughs to be had, especially at the end. Watch the new Sausage Party trailer after the jump. Read More »

sausage party sxsw

SXSW tends to be a hectic time for anyone in the general vicinity of Austin, Texas, but Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg may be even busier than most this year. Not only are they premiering their new series Preacher, which hits AMC this spring, they’re also unveiling the first look at their animated film Sausage Party, in the form of a work-in-progress screening.

Described by Rogen as an “R-rated Pixar-style movie,” Sausage Party follows a bunch of food items at a grocery store who wonder about the “Great Beyond” — i.e., what happens after they get purchased. Rogen, who co-wrote the script with Goldberg, Kyle Hunter, and Ariel Shaffir, voices a hot dog named Frank who falls out of a shopping cart and embarks on an eventful journey to make it back to his shelf before the Fourth of July sale. Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon directed. Watch the first Sausage Party trailer after the jump.  Read More »

sausage party sxsw

Every film festival has its unique identity. Programmers from all backgrounds and walks of life come together to create a voice for a fest, selecting and pursuing movies that they believe serve their particular slice of film fanatics. And while it would be unfair to to reduce a film festival as unique and special and varied as SXSW to “Yeah, they the exact kind of outfit that would take a chance on an R-rated animated comedy about talking food,” it’s true. They are the exact kind of outfit that would take a chance on an R-rated animated comedy about talking food.

The SXSW Film Festival has announced that it will screen a “work-in-progress” cut of Sausage Party, the latest project to blossom from the deranged minds of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Although the film sounds like a lazy riff on the Brave Little Toaster and Toy Story template, the fact that this animated film is intended for adult audiences and features a killer line-up of voice talent suggests that we’re supposed to make that comparison…only for the formula to be torn to shreds.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we let the Duplass brothers take us into the world of animals and insects, unbox the world of people who can taste color, head to Uganda for shirtless dudes kicking ass, catch up with Tommy from Snatch and find he’s ready to throw down, and get to know a Nobel-laureate who has a fascinating tale to tell.

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The Kroll Show - John Mulaney - Nick Kroll

When Kroll Show was still on Comedy Central, one of the best recurring segments was a little prank show called Too Much Tuna, featuring Gil Faizon (Nick Kroll) and George St. Geegland (John Mulaney) — the stars of Oh, Hello, another recurring segment on the sketch comedy series. And now these two charismatic Upper West Side artists are bringing their talents Off Broadway.

Mulaney and Kroll have just announced a new Oh, Hello stage show in the form of a new play written by Faizon and St. Geegland called We’re Us, You’re You, Let’s Talk. This sounds like it could be one of the greatest events of our time. Read More »

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Michael Shannon in Take Shelter

Jeff Nichols has cast Michael Shannon in every one of his films so far, and that streak will continue with Nichols’ next project. Shannon is set to join Nichols’ interracial marriage drama Loving, starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga. Nick Kroll, Jon Bass, Marton Csokas, and Bill Camp will also appear. Get details on the Michael Shannon Loving casting after the jump. Read More »

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 »

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 »