If at first you don’t become a leading lady, write yourself a movie. It worked for Kristen Wiig and Bridesmaids and it should work for Rashida Jones, the lovable and talented co-star of Parks and Recreations, I Love You Man, The Muppets and about a billion other things we all enjoy. Jones arrived at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival with a film called Celeste & Jesse Forever, in which she both stars, with Andy Samberg, and takes co-writing credit with Will McCormack. But unlike Wiig and Bridesmaids, Celeste & Jesse isn’t a balls-out comedy. It is a mature, romantic dramedy that explores, through very funny observations and situations, the story of a separated couple who still spend all of their time together.

Directed by Lee Toland Krieger (The Vicious Kind) and co-starring Elijah Wood, Ari Graynor, Chris Messina, Emma Roberts and Eric Christian Olsen, Celeste and Jesse Forever has a bit of an identity crisis but it ends up being very pleasant, thanks in large part to Jones. Read More »

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‘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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Below you’ll find a minute of the opening of Disney’s The Muppets, whcih hits screens on November 23. The scene is a fun little song and dance number that introduces new Muppet Walter and his human friend Gary, played by the film’s co-writer Jason Segel.

This is a pretty effortlessly charming little piece of film that helps sell The Muppets as a film that still has at least one foot firmly planted in the classic musical storytelling style that always made the show a small wonder. I think you’ll like it. Read More »

My Week with Marilyn star Eddie Redmayne will join Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway in Tom Hooper‘s prestige musical Les Miserables. Based on the hit Broadway show and Victor Hugo‘s classic novel of the same title, the film follows an ex-con named Valjean (Jackman) in 19th century France as he seeks to redeem himself. Redmayne will play Marius, who falls in love with Cosette, daughter of Fantine (Hathaway) and eventual charge of Valjean.

Les Miserables is already being touted as a likely Oscar contender, with a release date of December 7, 2012. Redmayne isn’t exactly a household name yet, but has marked himself as a talent to watch in projects like The Good Shepherd, My Week with Marilyn, and Hick. [Deadline]

After the jump, Rashida Jones and the guy who played Ernest Hemingway in Midnight in Paris befriend Samantha Morton, while David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook picks up a Boardwalk Empire star.

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I’ve loved all the goofy parody trailers, eaten up every plot detail, and followed each bit of celebrity casting, but at the end of the day, the real reason I’m so eager to see The Muppets doesn’t have a whole lot to do with famous stars or pop culture gags. My excitement all boils down to the something much more basic: the Muppets themselves are just plain freakin’ lovable. So I wholeheartedly approve of the new, scaled-back posters that have just hit the Web. No Academy Award nominees, no David Fincher references, just Kermit, Miss Piggy, Animal, and a couple of their other friends against a plain white backdrop. Check them out after the jump.

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Okay, the headline of this post may be a tad misleading. Only one of the two videos we have is an actual ad for The Muppets movie; the other’s just a delightful commercial for Wonderful Pistachios featuring a Muppet. But both fit the characters to a T. Miss Piggy takes on the glamorous job of working the Emmy red carpet, Statler and Waldorf get sassy about the film they’re in, and Kermit snacks on some bright green pistachios. And the TV spot for the movie actually contains some interesting new footage. Watch both videos after the jump.

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A few lucky movie fans were surprised yesterday with an 8-minute extended trailer for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but sadly, the video has yet to be released for the general public. On the bright side, the rest of us can now make do with “The Girl with the Froggy Tattoo” — yup, another amusing parody teaser for The Muppets. Watch Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the rest of the gang get gritty and tough after the jump.

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Sad as I am to see summer go, there is something I’m really looking forward to about the coming months, and that is the advent of the television’s regular season. After a long summer away from my imaginary friends in Pawnee, Greendale, and Lima, I’m eager to check back in and see what the new premieres have to offer. Hit the jump to see:

  • The beginnings of a triple-Tammy drink-off in a preview for Parks & Recreation Season 4
  • Greendale Community College literally dancing for joy in the promo for Community Season 3
  • Those crazy New Directions kids up to their usual tricks again in a spot for Glee Season 3

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