Wanderlust, from director David Wain (The State, Wet Hot American Summer) and co-writer Ken Marino, outlines and explores a premise that will probably resonate with many people: a young couple, navigating the grind of city life but trapped by their own fears and inadequacies, is forced to leave the city and take refuge with family by dual economic misfortunes.

Well, that part of the premise might resonate. The next bit is perhaps less familiar: the couple’s final destination ends up being Elysium, a commune-like community where their frigid inability to relax is cracked and thawed by an ultra-crunchy lifestyle. (Admittedly, the attentions of a couple of sexually aggressive residents doesn’t hurt.)

For the most part, Wanderlust isn’t a deep character study or a particularly perceptive dissection of human nature. (For something closer to that, see Lukas Moodysson’s Together, which was likely an inspiration for Wain.) This is more like seeing the funhouse mirror caricatures of Wet Hot American Summer grown to adulthood. This film doesn’t quite celebrate the same sense of absurdity, and doing so — living up to one of the film’s own arguments, you could say — might make it more of a keeper. Yet Wanderlust is possessed of a strong  enough free spirit that you might want to join its (almost) free-love drum circle just the same. Read More »

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I like David Wain‘s work a lot. The State was just wonderful; Wet Hot American Summer is an oddball classic; and even something more routine, like The Ten and Role Models, can be a decent bit of entertainment. Wain’s new movie, while we wait for the rumors about a WHAS sequel/prequel to come true, is Wanderlust. The movie features Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston as a couple that escapes NYC and ends up in a sort of hippie commune en route to Atlanta.

We’ve seen an all-audiences trailer, but with the movie set to hit theaters in just over a week, Universal has released a red-band trailer. As you might expect, it is speckled with bad language and a lot of not at all subtle sexual humor. Check it out below, and predict where Wanderlust might rank on Wain’s career-best list. Read More »

The answer is “yes,” Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston have been in a movie together before. It’s called The Object of My Affection, which was released in 1998. The reason you kind of remembered it existed is that it’s forgettable.

Wanderlust doesn’t look forgettable at all. This film is directed by David Wain (Role Models, Wet Hot American Summer) and features the actors on a life affirming journey out of New York City eventually ending up at a very laid back commune filled with colorful characters played by Malin Akerman, Justin Theroux, Joe Lo Truglio and Alan Alda.

Does it sound cheesy? The answer, again, is “yes.” But this first trailer really makes the film look like it’ll rise above that. Check it out after the jump. Read More »

I was surprised to hear last year that Francis Ford Coppola had quietly gone into production on a gothic dream/nightmare horror story called Twixt Now and Sunrise. I’m a hell of a lot more surprised to hear that Dan Deacon is scoring it. Dan Deacon is a guy whose basic appearance will cause anyone who casually spits out the word ‘hipster’ to recoil in horror. But he’s one of the best goddamn performers I’ve seen in a while, with the ability to squeeze wild noises out of analog electronics and an enviable knack for manipulating audiences.

None of which seems to gel at all with what we know about Mr. Coppola’s dream inspired film that stars Val Kilmer, Elle Fanning, Ben Chaplin, Alden Ehrenreich and Bruce Dern. That just makes me all the more curious. I don’t see how the sounds we’re used to hearing from Deacon would work, but I don’t consider him limited to that sound, either. So this could be some all-new magic. Can’t wait to find out. The pair also reportedly have another, larger project in the works. [Pitchfork]

After the break, Edgar Wright’s cohort Joe Cornish gets some Basement Jaxx tunes for Attack the Block (that’s the first still, above), and Craig Wedren scores David Wain’s latest. Read More »

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Wanderlust, the Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston comedy about a married couple who try to escape modern society and end up in a hippie commune, is really starting to come together. Much of the cast has already been set—first Justin Theroux (Mulholland Dr.) joined, then Six Feet Under’s Lauren Ambrose hopped on board, and most recently Alan Alda and Malin Akerman were thrown into the mix—and now the always enjoyable Ray Liotta has been added to round out the group. No word on what the part entails, but I’m betting on him playing a stern, ill-tempered police officer who complicates things for our protagonists. Here’s hoping he proves me wrong by getting cast against type this time around.

Judd Apatow is producing the film, along with Paul Rudd, David Wain and Ken Marino, the three of whom teamed up before on Wet Hot American Summer and Role Models. Wain is directing from a script he co-wrote with Marino. This pairing sold me from day one, and the cast certainly doesn’t hurt. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the break, the single-location thriller ATM gets a casting change. Read More »

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David Wain directing Alan Alda is something I can pretty easily picture. Brett Ratner directing Alan Alda is something of which I’d never even conceived, though I suppose Alda would have been right at home in Ratner’s The Family Man, with Nic Cage. Regardless, Alda will work with both directors as he’s been cast in both Wain’s Wanderlust and Ratner’s Tower Heist. Read More »

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In the past couple years, Christian Slater has been seen much more on TV than in films, and quite a few of the films he has made, well, have been…underexposed. (Show of hands: who saw Lies & Illusions? That’s what I thought.) But perhaps Playback will fare better than most. Or maybe not: Slater will star in Playback as “a sinister cop who is pivotal in exposing a small town’s deepest, darkest secret.”

Johnny Pacar, Toby Hemingway, Jonathan Keltz, Alessandra Torresani, Ambyr Childers, and Daryl “Chill” Mitchell also appear, and the story is kicked off when high school kids start poking into their town’s ‘mysterious past’ and expose an evil that preys upon them all. In the end, I bet Slater’s character would have gotten away with it if not for those meddling kids. Michael A. Nickles wrote the script and is directing right now in Grand Rapids, MI. [Variety]

After the break, Lauren Ambrose works for David Wain and Malin Akerman joins Ethan Hawke in a thriller. Read More »

Julia Stiles

There has been a lot of talk about this over the past couple weeks, but now its official: Julia Stiles is part of the cast of Dexter‘s fifth season on Showtime. When originally rumored, there was no info on her role. Showtime’s official statement says she’ll appear in ten episodes of the next season as ” a mysterious young woman who forms a unique relationship with Dexter (Michael C. Hall) in the wake of” the end of the fourth season. I edited a season four spoiler out of that line, but if you’ve been following the show you can mentally insert the relevant info. [Deadline]

After the break, Iron Man 2 writer Justin Theroux gets Wanderlust, and Spielberg’s TV series Terra Nova may have a lead actor. Read More »

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