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 »

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Donal Logue in Gotham - character actor psa
Entertainment Weekly has released a faux public service announcement with character actors explaining why you should care about “that guy from that thing” more than “that guy on the billboard.” Character actors are supporting  actors who are usually skilled at playing interesting or unusual characters, but not usually the lead roles in a film. They are the unsung heroes of Hollywood. Watch the character actor PSA video embedded now 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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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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It’s not surprising that most of the marketing materials so far for What to Expect When You’re Expecting have focused primarily on the women. It’s inspired by a world-famous pregnancy manual, after all, and (Arnold Schwarzenegger in Junior notwithstanding) men don’t often get pregnant. But with a comedically gifted male cast that includes Chris Rock, Thomas Lennon, Ben Falcone, Rob Huebel, and Dennis Quaid, it’s about time we got to see what the dads have been up to. Watch the dude-centric new trailer after the jump.

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We’re moving into a brave new world of CGI and motion capture. No longer will actors be limited to playing characters that move, and no longer will filmmakers be forced to rely on outdated ‘props’ and ‘set dressing.’ There is a new wave of motion capture artists who are pushing the boundaries of motion capture as an art form.

After the break, you’ll find a brief documentary on these cinematic trailblazers. Read More »

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