Ben Schwartz and Sam Rockwell

2020 will go down as an awful year in global history, but if we put the pandemic aside, comedian/actor/writer Ben Schwartz is actually having a pretty solid year career-wise – and it just got even better. Schwartz will write the screenplay for a mysterious new comedy for Disney’s Searchlight Pictures, which he’ll also executive produce and star in alongside Oscar winner Sam Rockwell. Read More »

Middleditch and Schwartz

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Series: Middleditch & Schwartz

Where You Can Stream It: Netflix

The Pitch: Middleditch & Schwartz is a two-person improvised show. Based on a short audience Q&A where someone in the crowd tells the duo about something they’re exciting about or dreading in the future, Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) and Ben Schwartz (Sonic the Hedgehog, Parks and Recreation) create characters, scenes, and storylines off the cuff, not knowing where they’ll end up, all based on what they’ve just hear from the audience. No hooks, no gimmicks, no scripts, and no props besides two chairs. It’s two great friends with incredible comedic instincts making everything up in front of your eyes. Every show is totally different, and you never know what’s going to happen next.

Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: Right now, you could probably do with an extended period of hearty laughter as the we continue to tread the boiling waters of hell on Earth. Look no further than three completely improvised comedy specials from Thomas Middleditch and Ben Schwartz, partners in comedy who have each starred in a variety of movies and TV shows you know and love. The two actors also happen to be expertly trained comedians who went on tour over the past couple years, doing long-form improv shows for sold out audiences across the United States. Three of those were recorded at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, and they’re now available in perpetuity on Netflix. Read More »

Making of Vader Immortal VR

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, learn how ILMxLAB created the immersive Star Wars virtual reality quest Vader Immortal for the Oculus Quest. Plus, find out about the differences between Netflix’s Locke & Key series and the comic series that inspired it, and Sonic the Hedgehog voice actor Ben Schwartz plays Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and answers questions about the movie and more. Read More »

Sonic the Hedgehog Featurette

Jim Carrey had a meteoric rise to fame in the 1990s thanks to a string of comedy hits like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and Dumb & Dumber, not to mention a campy villainous turn as The Riddler in Batman Forever, all in the span of a year and a half. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Jim Carrey get that silly, but as a new Sonic the Hedgehog featurette shows us, that changes this weekend.

Sonic the Hedgehog, based on the Sega video game of the same name, brings in Jim Carrey to play the evil genius Dr. Robotnik, who wants to use his technologically advanced machines to take over the world and control humanity. But in order to do that, he needs to harness the power that gives the speedy hedgehog Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz of Parks and Recreation) his super speed. And so begins a game of cat-and-mouse, where Jim Carrey gets to ham it up as a bad guy once again. Read More »

Sonic the Hedgehog Clip

One would have thought that after starring in the Easter-themed family comedy HopJames Marsden would be done acting opposite entirely computer generated characters. But maybe the paycheck for a big blockbuster family film is just too good to pass up nowadays, because he’s back starring in Sonic the Hedgehog and a silly new clip has just debuted. Thankfully, this isn’t as horrifying as it could have been thanks to the character redesign that pushed the movie back from November last year…but it’s still not great. Watch the Sonic the Hedgehog clip below. Read More »

Standing Up Falling Down trailer

If you put Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) and Billy Crystal (When Harry Met Sally) in a room together, comedic magic will happen. A new film called Standing Up, Falling Down bets big on this basic idea, and according to our review from last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, the film succeeds largely because of their standout performances. Check out the trailer for the indie comedy below.
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standing up falling down review

The homecoming comedy is the bread and butter of the indie circuit, and as poignant and humanist as the genre can be, it can also get old fast. It falls then, on the shoulders of the stars to keep the film from stumbling; thankfully in Standing Up, Falling Down, Ben Schwartz and Billy Crystal are more than up to the task.

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sonic the hedgehog trailer

It took almost 30 years, but Sonic the Hedgehog is finally racing onto the big screen. The Sega video game character gets the CGI treatment in Sonic the Hedgehog, a live-action animated hybrid film starring James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Jim Carrey, and Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic himself. The first trailer for the movie is online, and you’ll have to decide for yourself how good an idea this entire endeavor is. Watch the Sonic the Hedgehog trailer below.

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amy adams lois lane

Here’s your big scoop on the DC Extended Universe for the week: Amy Adams is out. The Vice actress has played Lois Lane, intrepid reporter and Superman’s longtime girlfriend, in three movies now, but as Warner Bros. takes the DC films in another direction and as her onscreen love interest hangs up the cape himself, Adams says that she’s done with the DC universe.

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michael giacchino short film

Michael Giacchino has made a name for himself as one of Hollywood’s hardest working film composers, and maybe he can add hardest-working director to his resume. The Oscar-winning composer of Up will finally make his directorial debut with a short film that will be playing at this month’s Fantastic Fest in Austin.

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