Coffee Town

CollegeHumor‘s silly videos have entertained many a procrastinator for five- or ten-minute chunks, but now the site’s looking to command people’s attentions for a whole lot longer. The self-proclaimed “comedy leaders” are making their first foray into features this summer with the 87-minute VOD release Coffee Town.

The film features quite an array of TV talents, including director Brad Copeland (Arrested Development) and stars Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny), Steve Little (Eastbound & Down), Ben Schwartz (Parks & Recreation), Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night Lights), Jake Johnson (New Girl) and, um, Josh Groban. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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Comedy website CollegeHumor, best known for its viral shorts, is now looking to bring its irreverent sense of humor to theaters with its debut big-screen feature Coffee Town. Whether the company will actually succeed in its goal to become the next National Lampoon remains to be seen, but the promising array of talent they’ve lined up should help move things along.

Arrested Development writer/producer Brad Copeland has been hired to direct the film, his first, from a script he wrote, while Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Steve Little (Eastbound & Down), Ben Schwartz (House of Lies, I guess but he’ll always be Jean-Ralphio to me) and Josh Groban are lined up to star. It’s not the highest profile roster I’ve ever seen, but it’s none too shabby for a company making its first foray into film, either. More details after the jump.

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By now many of you have had ample opportunity to check out Rubber, the movie from Quentin Dupieux that hit last year. Yeah, the one about the sentient tire that develops psychic powers and uses them to blow the heads off animals and people. I liked Rubber a lot — thought it was funny and entertaining in a simple, almost too-self aware way — and have been looking forward to his next movie.

Dupieux has been at work on a relatively secretive follow-up, called Wrong. The movie is in the Sundance 2012 lineup, as announced not long ago, competing in the World Cinema program. To go along with that formal announcement, here’s the teaser trailer for Wrong.

I’ll be honest: just going off this footage I have no idea what the hell is going on in this movie. But it has William Fichtner sporting facial scars and something like a rattail; Steve Little (Eastbound and Down) looking like a perfectly slouchy detective, and Jack Plotnick, the Accountant from Rubber, in perhaps a central role. Check it out below. Read More »

The first trailer has dropped for The Catechism Cataclysm, Todd Rohal‘s oddball comedy about young priest Father Billy (Steve Little, Eastbound & Down) who reunites with his high school role model, a former rocker named Robbie (Robert Longstreet, Pineapple Express). For reasons I can’t quite make out, the two near-strangers decide to go on a male bonding canoe trip. The pair quickly get lost, and things move from awkward to strange to deeply fucked up. Watch the video after the jump.

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America’s very own Kenny Powers aka The Man with the Golden Dick is officially leaving North Carolina and shipping off to play ball(s) in Mexico, better known as Hell on Earth in recent months due to drug cartel violence, kidnappings, and the rest of it. So, yikes, the “sour patch” seems only to worsen for Danny McBride‘s iconic steroid-taking professional baseball pitcher turned existential curse of an oaf. In early April, I wrote of the confirmation of an international change of setting from  Eastbound & Down co-director, David Gordon Green. He first brought up the possibility in 2008 during my set visit. In recent weeks, Puerto Rico had been bandied about quite a bit as a shooting location for the HBO series, but as I hinted, the island will sub in for ever-topical Mexico. The core team has been in Rico working on the scripts for the next eight episodes (its predecessor had six), and shooting begins in May.

Now, Deadline confirms two new regulars for the second season. In line with rumors, many of season uno’s beloved characters won’t be returning. One of the regulars for season two, actor Michael Pena, is a no brainer. He played the amazing thief/mall pig named Dennis in 2009′s Observe & Report, the cult classic sophomore feature from EB&D co-creator and co-director Jody Hill. In a subtle hat tip to the movie and the series’ new setting, fans will recall that Dennis fled America in a raffle car for Mexico where “the water’s warm and the girls are wet. “ More details south of the border, including news and pics of Kenny’s vivacious new lady friend…

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With only two feature films and one TV show to his name, writer/director Jody Hill, is now synonymous with ignoring the boundaries and “genre rules” of modern comedy and creating anti-heroes that laughably burble with nihilistic rage, scary faux pas and hot-air egos. But there is also an internal depth to these macho doofuses played by Hill’s longtime pal and writing partner, Danny McBride, and comedy star Seth Rogen, to surpass the high art of a perfectly-timed and pronounced “fuck.”

Hill’s work on Observe & Report, The Foot Fist Way, and his cultural breakthrough, HBO‘s Eastbound & Down, contains more glass-darkly social commentary and life-lived expression than the work of any hotshot young novelist in recent memory. Rather than document the cold realities and indulgent pleasantries of another big city with bright lights, Hill is set on exploring the very place that so many creative-types vacate upon the arrival of their first Visa card or college acceptance letter: the American South. Moreover, as many middle-class and broke white American males face sobering, if inevitable, realizations and disillusions about the future, laughing at Hill’s moronic, unhinged versions as they champion outdated movie/sports star heroics atop small-town kingdoms is like homemade medicine. When it comes to countering the monotony of the average day-to-day? Eastbound is harder to beat still. The sight of Kenny Powers “dancing” in a middle school gym under the influence of eggrolls and ecstasy or ejecting a topless broad from his Jet Ski is priceless. Like cheetah-spotted gold or “a bulletproof tiger, dude.”

A native of North Carolina, Hill is the latest progeny of the North Carolina School of the Arts, alongside McBride and creative partner Ben Best, fellow EB&D director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express), and EB&D cinematographer Tim Orr. In the first part of my interview, we discuss the show in-depth, including some of the surprising and vile admissions and special features on the Season One DVD. We also talk about what it’s like to be a young director coming from, and staying in, the South, why so many comedians today are from there, and why the region was overdue for a proper comedic depiction.

Hunter Stephenson: Hey Jody, how are you?

Jody Hill: Hey Hunter. Good, good, good. Hey man, I wanted to say that I was sorry I wasn’t there when you visited down in Wilmington [Eastbound & Down set, 2008]. I remember the piece you wrote, and it sounded like a really good time. [laughs] Sucks I couldn’t there, man; I was editing my film (Observe & Report), and Warner Bros. wouldn’t let me go. When you have to do a director’s cut, they want to lock you up for 10 weeks. [laughs] Everybody said they had a blast…and I was editing.

Yeah. I expected to interview you there. And I didn’t know about the change, that David Green was now directing the majority of the episodes while you were in L.A. But it all worked out, he killed it. My first question: Legend has it that when you, Danny [McBride], and Ben [Best] first conceived of Kenny Powers you were sitting in a kiddie pool in North Carolina drinking beers. [laughs] Is that accurate?

Jody Hill: [laughs] Yeah, this was before we made Foot Fist Way or anything. We were trying to come up with ideas for shows. I was between jobs; I had been working this really shit reality show job, doing motion-control for Behind the Music and shit like that. [laughs] It was pretty lame. And so, yeah, we were in Charlotte, in the backyard of Ben Best’s house. And yeah, we were literally sitting in a kiddie pool with a case of beer. And Kenny was one of the ideas that, uh, we came up with. [laughs]

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2edqot2

I just returned from the set of H2 (Halloween 2) and am running off adrenaline, craft services coffee, and an iPod of Brian Jonestown Massacre and MF Doom. And also, a little bit of anger. Let me just say that Twitter has become a HUGE problem on movie sets, and that I do not grasp why it is necessary for some sites, however cool, to Tweet every effing detail of what they are seeing in real time. Word spreads quickly on these productions, and one bad, trivial, prematurely ejaculated Tweet can potentially and seemingly spoil access for everyone. End rant. The below news was in my email, cheered me up, and even though I need to crash, it was too good to delay posting…

HBO has officially confirmed that its original comedy series Eastbound and Down—a /Film fave—has been renewed for a second season. Better yet, given the fast ascent up the comedy ranks of the show’s masterminds, Danny McBride, Jody Hill, and Ben Best, one may have expected another six-episode season further down the pipeline. Instead, the next season begins filming later this year and will air in 2010. Woo. When we were on the set last year, co-director David Gordon Green revealed that a follow-up pitch was being entertained that centered on McBride’s profane bulletproof tiger Kenny Powers shipping off to South America to quasi-fulfill his baseball career. However, the idea seemed to be news to much of the cast, and given how well received the ensemble performances of Andy Daly, Katy Mixon, John Hawkes, and Steve “Ass Blood” Little,  I wouldn’t bet on it.

My review of Jody Hill’s Observe and Report is on the way. It’s a 9.5/10 and one of the most uncompromising, face-checking comedies to come around in a long time.

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