(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 Movie: Hot Rod
Where You Can Stream It: Hulu
The Pitch: Rod Kimble (Andy Samberg) is a self-proclaimed stuntman who spends his days trying to live up to the legacy of his father, who he believes used to test stunts for Evel Knievel before the famous daredevil made the jumps himself. But he also hopes to prove his manhood to his step-father Frank (Ian McShane) by beating the hell out of him in a fight. Unfortunately, a wrench gets thrown in his plans when Frank becomes deathly ill, leaving Rod with only one option: raise $50,000 to pay for life-saving surgery, all so he can finally defeat Frank.
Why It’s Essential Viewing: Hot Rod was the first movie to come from the crew known as The Lonely Island on Saturday Night Live. After becoming famous for their SNL Digital Shorts, Akiva Shaffer, Jorma Taccone, and Andy Samberg made the jump to the big screen with an original comedy. With a script from writer Pam Brady (South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Team America: World Police), Hot Rod has the feel of a 1980s extreme sports movie mixed with the absurd comedy that people came to love about SNL Digital Shorts, and it does so with a stellar ensemble cast of comedy heavy hitters. Read More »
(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.)
In this edition of Now Stream This, we have the first team-up of Scorsese, De Niro and Pesci; Robert Pattinson getting freaky in space; John Travolta and Nicolas Cage swapping faces; Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson navigating the weird world of being a teenager; Ben Stiller getting dramatic; a quest for the Holy Grail; a guy with pins in his head; and a contortionist clown from another dimension. These are the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming!
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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, watch as two of the stars from the original Mortal Kombat movie playing Mortal Kombat II on an arcade cabinet and reminisce about making the blockbuster video game movie. Plus, take a closer look at how some big Hollywood stunts were pulled off in movies like Baby Driver, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Point Break, and more, and see what oddball filmmaker John Waters picks from the Criterion Collection closet. Read More »
School of Rock with teens instead of squirts equals this new trailer for The Rocker. Example: “You don’t ask your parents for permission to rock!” And if you watch closely Rainn Wilson (yes, veddy good on The Office) even begins to resemble Jack Black in SoR near the end.
[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/therocker.flv 470 252]
There are some laffs here: fat guy hurricane’ing snot on a hot gal’s forehead (Superbad‘s Emma Stone), noodle eating, Jeff Garlin off the bat…and Wilson sprinting is always funnay. There is dated lameness here: a band called ADD, creepy girl saying “Hello YouTube,” porn site password jokes in 2008, cliche “it’s about the music” confession, an unfunny recreation of 1988 (hard to do). Not appearing much, if at all, here, but on the plus side: Fred Armisen, Aziz Ansari, Jane Lynch. Hard to say if this Fox Atomic (ohai) comedy is going to connect or whimper off like a sappier Hot Rod. Who’s the audience, Office fans with bored nephews?
The Rocker opens nationwide on August 1st.
Discuss: What do you think of the trailer for The Rocker? Are soft-irony movies about white guys “rocking out!!!” still funny sans the already championed Anvil! The Story of Anvil?
The following editorial is written by Zack Lawrence.
Ok, we all knew Hot Rod was going to crash at the box office worse then a spectacular wreck on Rod’s moped. But I am here to vehemently defend its greatness as one of the funniest movies of the year. Not Oscar worthy, I assure you, but in its own way, funnier than the norm. Because that’s exactly why, its sketch comedy as a flick! Deliciously absurd and unconventional so much so that it has no intentions of making sense.
Someone asked me, “Will I like it?” and I said “No.” and that reason alone is because if your expecting a regular Waterboy-esque slam bang funny stunt movie, don’t go. If you like Kung Pow, Monty Python, The State, or Andy Samberg’s digital shorts, this is your movie. If not? Run far, far away. Repeating the same words, constant falling, or dumbness for the sake of being dumb, all these things that most people see as an easy laugh are right. But they have finely crafted all these things into a brainless, ridiculous, and straight up fucking stupid, piece of art. It now will fit perfectly into that genre of movies that are all basically sketch comedies, stretched into something more, which takes talent. Most SNL movies are god awful spin offs with a few laughs, to say the least, flicks like A Night At the Roxbury, Superstar, Stuart, It’s Pat, sucked it, hard. I pay homage though to the greats, Wayne’s World was immaculate.
Hot Rod is a clean franchise that was an original piece with almost all players being tagged to SNL somehow, which I believe they should follow suit with and do more often, originality! Do you want big? See Rush Hour 3 for generic. Do you want masterfully dim witted, done to a polished piece of funny shit? See Hot Rod. But hurry, it’ll be out of the theatres by next week. Cool Beans.
On July 24th, I had the chance to sit down with Hot Rod and Lonely Island trio Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer. You can tell instantly that these three guys have been friends since 7th grade. They play off each other like they’ve been doing it for many years. The interview was probably the funniest roundtable I’ve done to date. These are not the type of guys who answer questions with any bit of pretension. They know who they are, they know why they are here, and more importantly they know how to tell a funny story.
You can listen to the full roundtable interview below. After the jump we have included a time-coded chapter listing, so that you can skip to the good parts. I highly recommend the story of The Whoopee Boys poster/screening, which begins around 23 minutes in.
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Did You Know: Hot Rod was actually written for Will Farrell? We met with The Lonely Island Boys Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer earlier today and they shared with us the following story:
This woman Pam Brady had written it. She had written for the South Park series, then she co-wrote the South Park movie, co-wrote Team America with Matt and Trey. Before we were even at SNL, she wrote it for Lorne (Michaels) and for Paramount. And then when we got there, they said to Andy, ‘Hey Andy why don’t you read this and see if it appeals to you.’ Then after Lazy Sunday they were like ‘The Three of you guys, why don’t you read it.’ And of course it was just so silly and weird that we were like, ‘You’re gonna let us make a movie? Of course!’
But she had written it for Will Farrell and it was envisioned as a vehicle for him. And he is an exec producer on it – him and Jimmy Miller. They all put their ideas into it. As a testament as to how well she wrote it, it was very much obviously for Will Farrell. When you read it, you couldn’t picture anyone else in the movie but Will Farrell. The lines were specifically things he has kind of made his persona over the years. So if he [Andy Samberg] had just done those lines, it would have been like an impression of Will Farrell. So we had to go through, just to make it work at all, we had to go through and tweak it a lot just to get it to feel like it was ours and his [Andy] and that kind of stuff.
I got to see the movie last week, and was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed it. I’ve been very vocal about how much I hated the trailer for this flick. I can;t review the film now but I think the quote above is very interesting, so I will say this much. Everything that the Lonely Island guys made their own works. There is some laugh out loud moments, one in particular is the “cool beans” sequence. You’ll know it when you see it. I felt that the parts of the film that didn’t work were the parts where it seemed more like a Will Farrell movie. I’m very interested to see a movie completely conceived and written by these guys.
Watch out for our whole interview later this week.
Paramount Pictures has announced a detailed scheduling for the planned Thursday, July 26th 1:30pm Comic-Con panel. Here is the rundown thanks to ROS:
- Transformers – taped message from Michael Bay
- Hot Rod – Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone present
- Stardust – Neil Gaiman present
- Beowulf – Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary present
- Sweeney Todd – mini poster reveal
- Spiderwick Chronicles – Mark Waters, Holly Black, Phil Tippet and Tony Tetzelli present. Page to screen presentation.
- Drillbit Taylor – taped message from Judd Apatow intro of new trailer
- Iron Man – taped greeting and throw to Marvel panel on Saturday
- Indiana Jones 4 – satellite from set
- Star Trek 11 – JJ Abrams, Damon Lindeloff, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman
Looks like there will be some fun stuff is in store for those in attendance. I’m most looking forward to the Drillbit Taylor trailer, Indiana Jones 4 satallite segment, and the Star Trek presentation. I’m sure JJ will be forced to field a bunch of questions regarding Cloverfield, even though it’s not on the schedule. And before you ask, Paramount and Universal have set up a Saturday panel to focus on Iron Man and Incredible Hulk.
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Paramount’s new comedy Hot Rod starring SNL’s Andy Samberg is set to hit theaters on July 24th, and Paramount has given us a bunch of cool goodies for you to win. We have Hot Rod t-shirts (girl and boy â€“ see link), underoos (photo right), and drumroll please… an AUTOGRAPHED poster.
All you need to do to enter to win is e-mail us with the subject HOT ROD. Tell us what piece of Hot Rod swag you’d like to get, and the reason why you deserve to win. We will e-mail winners on July 27th. Also, after the jump we have a look at one of Hot Rod Kimble’s training sequences.
Amateur stuntman Rod Kimble (ANDY SAMBERG) has a problem â€“ his step-father Frank (IAN MCSHANE) is a jerk.Â Frank picks on Rod, tosses him around like a rag doll in their weekly sparring sessions, and definitely doesn’t respect him, much less his stunts.Â But when Frank falls ill, it’s up to Rod to stage the jump of his life in order to save his step-father.Â The plan: Jump 15 buses, raise the money for Frank’s heart operation, and then… kick his ass.
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Check out the new movie poster for the Andy Samberg comedy Hot Rod, thanks to our friends at FirstShowing. The previously released teaser trailer didn’t quite impress me. Although I must admit, Samberg’s digital shorts are the only reason (if there is a reason) to watch Saturday Night Live these days (but in the days of YouTube, what’s the point?). And coming off of a string of smart comedies like Borat and Knocked Up, I’m not sure America is still interested in a stupid pysical comedy flick. But heck, Americas Funniest Home Videos made a living off men being hit in the nuts for over ten years. So may-be dumb humor will always have a value in this country. But I have toÂ say the design of this poster and the tag-line are just PERFECT. You couldn’t make a poster for this film any better than this. Am I wrong? Click on the image to the right to enlarge.
Hot Rod follows Self-proclaimed stuntman Rod Kimble (Samberg), who is preparing for the jump of his life. Rod plans to clear fifteen buses in an attempt to raise money for his abusive stepfather Frank Powell’s life-saving heart operation. He’ll land the jump, get Frank better, and then fight him, hard. The film also stars Isla Fisher, Jorma Taccone, Bill Hader, with Sissy Spacek and Ian McShane. The movie hits theaters on August 3rd 2007.