sister's keeper

Indie darling Lynn Shelton just had her first film released, We Go Way Back, after it sat on the shelf for 10 years or so. Shelton has come a long way since her debut movie, doing fine work on television (The Mindy Project) and making polished, likable independent films (Your Sister’s Sister, pictured above). The director of Humpday and Touchy Feely is now making a potentially commercial (and cool) sounding project. Read more about Lynn Shelton directing The Incredible Case of the PI Moms after the jump.

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Okay, I know it’s fake. I know Joss Whedon, Mike Birbiglia and Ira Glass are all friends, but I don’t care. This fabricated Internet war between The Avengers and Sleepwalk With Me is really clever and fun. It started earlier this week when Whedon, director of the third largest film of all time The Avengers, called for a boycott to the delightful, Sundance audience award winner directed by Birbiglia and co-written by Birbiglia and Glass (This American Life). Whedon’s quarrel was that The Avengers was in danger of losing screens to Sleepwalk and, therefore, fans should boycott the movie. But not before he gave it several flattering compliments.

Now Birbiglia and Glass has responded with their plan on how Sleepwalk With Me is going to outgross The Avengers. Not only is it funny, it’s one of those eye-opening realizations just how successful a movie can be. Check it out below. Read More »

To date, Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers has only grossed $617.3 million in the United States and Box Office Mojo reports it’s barely playing on 200 screens. That’s unacceptable, says the writer/director, who released a video damming the upcoming film Sleepwalk With Me from stealing some of those precious, and much needed screens.

The comedy, written and directed by Mike Birbigliawon an audience award at Sundance earlier this year and begins to hit theaters later this month. Originally the film was only opening in a handful of cities, but fans have been demanding it on Twitter with the hashtag #bringsleepwalk and have so far doubled the amount of screens that will be showing the film. Whedon, whose little Marvel movie is still $40 million from being the number two film of all time, is obviously threatened and has chosen to speak out against the film.

It’s hilarious. Check it out below. Read More »

One of my favorite movies of the year so far is coming to theaters next month. The trailer came online late last week but got buried thanks to a little event called Comic-Con.

Now I’m happy to finally share the first trailer to Mike Birbiglia‘s Sleepwalk With Me, an autobiographical romantic comedy about a man’s struggle to become a stand-up comedian. Only thing is, he has a dangerous penchant to sleepwalk. Comedian Birbiglia co-wrote, stars in and directs the film which also features Lauren Ambrose, Carol Kane, James Rebhorn, Marc Maron and others. Sleepwalk With Me won the Audience Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and hits theaters beginning August 24.

Check out the trailer, as well as my Sundance video blog review, after the jump. Read More »

There’s a ton of TV news coming down the pipeline, so let’s get right to it. After the jump:

  • The Newsroom and True Blood get premiere dates
  •  Fox will celebrate its 25th birthday with its biggest stars
  •  Elisha Cuthbert says she’s “on standby” for the 24 movie
  •  Is Saturday Night Live losing three of its cast members?
  •  The CW’s Supernatural finds a new co-showrunner
  •  A This American Life segment turns into an HBO drama
  •  Funny or Die’s Drunk History heads to Comedy Central
  •  Is this really the script of Breaking Bad‘s season premiere?
  •  Jimmy Smits turns to the dark side on FX’s Sons of Anarchy

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There’s a running joke amongst comedians that people get into stand-up just so they can be TV stars. It works for some but for others, it seems like stand-up might be a better route to get into film directing. It worked for Woody Allen, Louis CK and now it’s worked for Mike Birbiglia, a successful touring comedian who turned his one man autobiographical off-Broadway show Sleepwalk With Me into a feature film. The movie just had its world premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Birbiglia stars as Matt, a struggling stand-up comedian who has been with his girlfriend Abby (Lauren Ambrose) for eight years. When the couple begins to have problems, Matt uses that to finally find his voice, which in turn makes the relationship even more difficult. Then there’s the tiny matter of Matt dangerously sleepwalking every night, all of which actually happened in Birbiglia’s life.

Co-starring James Rebhorn, Carol Kane, Marc Maron and produced by Ira Glass (This American Life), Sleepwalk With Me is incredibly clever, well-directed and laugh out loud hilarious. The message isn’t all that new, but the journey there definitely is.

Watch a clip from the movie as well as a video blog featuring myself and Jordan Raup from The Film Stage after the jump. Read More »

Whether or not Kristen Wiig decides to do Bridesmaids 2, what’s obvious is that she’s not wanting for work. The actress-writer-producer is already involved with several intriguing projects, and she may soon be attached to one more.

Wiig, along with Owen Wilson and Christopher Walken, are circling roles in Errol MorrisFreezing People is Easy, based on Robert F. Nelson‘s memoir We Froze the First Man and a This American Life segment titled “You’re as Cold as Ice.” Paul Rudd has been set for the lead role of Nelson since last year. More details after the jump.

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Paul Rudd to Star in Next Errol Morris Film

Back in April of 2009 acclaimed documentarian Errol Morris announced his intent to make his second non-doc feature. The film was being written by Stranger Than Fiction scripter Zach Helm, based on two sources:  Robert F. Nelson’s memoir We Froze the First Man and a This American Life segment called ‘You’re Cold As Ice,’ which jointly follow the story of Robert Nelson, a TV repairman who developed his own cryogenic preservation technology in the mid-’60s.

We haven’t heard much about the film in some time, but it isn’t dead. (Resist the puns. Resist the puns.) Now, while promoting his recent documentary Tabloid, Errol Morris has revealed that Paul Rudd will play Bob Nelson. Read More »


Over the past couple years, the radio and sometime TV show This American Life has become a launching pad for a few potential film stories. A number of different segments from the show, which follows through on the title to document odd and interesting tales from America, are currently in development to possibly become feature films.

The latest is a segment called Heretics, “based on the life of a fallen star in the evangelical movement,” with Marc Forster attached to direct. Read More »

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chuck klosterman interview

Any pop culture writer today worth a scan online has a unique opinion on Chuck Klosterman. The renown American author and journalist made a name for himself in the aughts with witty, hyper-informed contributions as a former senior writer and columnist at SPIN. In 2003, he released a bestselling book of essays about “low culture” under the title, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, that dissected, exploded, and—in the case of Saved By the Bell—meta-ized topics ranging from internet porn to why there’s only “one important question a culturally significant film can still ask: What is reality?” To readers with an eye on the future, Klosterman signaled not only the arrival of an adored critic amongst hipsters, TV junkies, and geeks; he was the aware embodiment of the modern intellectual turned as voracious consumer of entertainment. And ever since many a beer has been consumed by writers arguing over or coveting this appointment.

Post-Cocoa Puffs, Klosterman’s bibliography has grown to include several works of non-fiction as well as last year’s Downtown Owl, a well-received debut novel benefiting from word-of-mouth, not unlike how Puffs did (but with Tweets on top). His latest book, Eating the Dinosaur, is a characteristic essay collection that can be burned through in a night but also raises several troubling philosophical questions. In the first part of Klosterman’s interview with /Film, he elaborates on the role feted director Errol Morris played in a few of Dinosaur’s themes. We also discuss his opinion of movie junkets, the accelerated culture of movie blogs, and the film most comparable to Guns N’ RosesChinese Democracy. For the second round of the interview, click here.

Hunter Stephenson: Hi Chuck. So, are you in California to speak about the book?

Chuck Klosterman: I’m doing The Jim Rome Show on ESPN, and it’s in Huntington Beach, California. And I gotta say, it’s creepy as fuck out here man.

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