The Graduate Live Read

Early on in The Graduate, there’s that iconic moment. Ben Braddock, a recent college grad, is talking with the beautiful older family friend Mrs. Robinson. Ben says, “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.” It’s iconic thanks to director Mike Nichols’ choice of angle, the delivery of the line by Dustin Hoffman, and the way that one sentence sets the entire story into motion.

At Jason Reitman‘s final live read of the season, actor Jay Baruchel played the role of Ben Braddock. When he got to that line, delivered next to his Mrs. Robinson, Sharon Stone, the 32-year-old actor broke character, cocked his right arm on his side and whispered, “Yes!” He was excited, not just because he nailed the legendary line, but maybe he got the feeling what was to follow was going to go very well. Reitman’s casting of Baruchel as the nervous, unsure, yet charming and likable Ben couldn’t have been more perfect. The same could also be said for Sharon Stone, whose Mrs. Robinson was sexy, confident and cool.

Though both actors were merely sitting in chairs, reading lines of dialogue, their body language created an electric chemistry that turned the combination of a great cast and a flawless script into a memorable event. Below, read more details about the Film Independent at LACMA Live Read of The Graduate. Read More »

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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 »

Phantom City Creative - Lost 10th

The Lost 10 Year Reunion took place this past weekend in Hollywood and the full event is now online. As part of the annual PaleyFest event, host Paul Scheer spoke with executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse as well as stars Josh Holloway (Sawyer), Yunjin Kim (Sun), Jorge Garcia (Hurley), Ian Somerhalder (Boone), Maggie Grace (Shannon), Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond), and Malcolm David Kelley (Walt). It was a celebration of the 10 years that have passed since the premiere of the show, which helped changed the way the audiences watch and interact with TV. There were some spoilery revelations and many fun stories told.

For those would couldn’t be there, you can now watch the full event embedded below. Read More »

Ass Backwards

In the proud tradition of Dumb and Dumber and Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion, the Sundance comedy Ass Backwards features two complete morons who might be tragic if they weren’t so irrepressibly pleased with themselves. June Diane Raphael (NTSF:SD:SUV) and Casey Wilson (Happy Endings) star as Kate and Chloe, two NYC gals who’ve been BFFs since they placed dead last in their hometown pageant as kids.

When they’re invited back to celebrate the pageant’s 50th anniversary, they embark on a road trip that, naturally, gets them tangled up in all sorts of insane shenanigans. Alicia SilverstonePaul Scheer, and Vincent D’Onofrio also star. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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Hell Baby

R-rated jokes can be a good tool for a comedy filmmaker to have in their arsenal. There are some gags that simply don’t work when they’re toned down to satisfy the MPAA. But that doesn’t mean ruder, cruder, and lewder necessarily translates to funnier. A limp comedy is still a limp comedy, no matter how many bare butts, dick jokes, and blood splatters you toss in there.

Case in point: Last month’s green-band trailer for Hell Baby was pretty hit-or-miss, to put it generously, and I’m not sure that ratio’s much improved in this new red-band trailer. More boobs are on display, though, so there’s that. Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant direct, and Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb, Riki Lindhome, and Keegan-Michael Key star. Hit the jump to watch the NSFW video.

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Hell Baby

A hopeful, pregnant couple moving into a decrepit old house: that never turns out well in the movies. In Hell Baby, though, filmmakers Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant try to have a little fun on the way to the inevitable doom that follows such a bad life choice.

Rob Corddry and Leslie Bibb star as the married pair, who are expecting twins. They purchase a suspiciously cheap mansion in New Orleans, only to discover that it’s — surprise, surprise — haunted. The Vatican dispatches its crack exorcism team (played by Garant and Lennon) to help. Hilarity ostensibly ensues. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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rapture-palooza-red-band-header

There are a whole lot of great people in Rapture-Palooza, written by Chris Matheson (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) and directed by Paul Middleditch (Separation City). The film features Anna Kendrick and John Francis Daley as a young couple navigating the slightly hellish landscape of Earth after the Rapture. Craig Robinson is the Antichrist, and Rob Corddry, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, Thomas Lennon, Ana Gasteyer, John Michael Higgins, and Tyler Labine are on hand, too.

Like I said, a lot of great people… so we’ll just pretend for a while that the film looks a lot better than this red-band trailer makes it out to be. Knowing that this was written by the guy who created Bill & Ted helps, and this trailer seems to be angling for some of that spirit, and the weirder moments of the Harold & Kumar movies, too. But a lot of Rapture-Palooza looks a bit like Birdemic, only with recognizable actors. That might be good; a lot of people seem to like Birdemic.

There’s a lot of bad language in here, which is what earns the red-band status. Whether the language adds to the jokes is something we’ll let you decide. (I do like the vulgar crow.) Read More »

Since the world failed to end in 2012, 2013 seems to be the year we’re all laughing about what could have been. Paul Middleditch‘s Rapturepalooza is one of three post-apocalyptic comedies due out this year, along with Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen’s This Is the End and Edgar Wright’s The World’s End.

Like the others, Rapturepalooza features a talented (if somewhat lower profile) comic ensemble, including Craig Robinson as the Antichrist, Anna Kendrick and John Francis Daley as a young couple who want to destroy him, Rob Corddry as Daley’s father, and… is that Ken Jeong as God? Watch the red-band trailer after the jump.

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