Jonathan Levine interview

“Music inspires you to keep making images,” director Jonathan Levine says. The director of The Wackness50/50, and the new Seth RogenCharlize Theron rom-com, Long Shot, constantly finds himself inspired by music. Whether he’s writing or thinking of the mood for a movie, music is on his mind. His love for music was evident from the start of his career with The Wackness, but his movies that followed have been packed with songs that fit just right.

With Long Shot, he was mostly inspired by music with a “nostalgic bittersweet” feeling. Even if some of those bands and artists that influenced him didn’t land a spot on the soundtrack, like Bon Iver or David Gray, they were instrumental in Levine thinking of the bigger picture. In the case of the Long Shot, he wanted to create feelings of nostalgia, so the soundtrack has the likes of The Cure, Boyz II Men, Bruce Springsteen, so basically artists Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) and Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) grew up listening to. Even those big names, though, don’t even begin to cover all the heavy hitters in the movie’s soundtrack, which also features Frank Ocean’s “Moon River” and Aretha Franklin’s cover of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

Recently, Levine talked to us all about music in his latest film, as well as the music that shaped his taste, songs he’s used and wants to use in movies, his obsession with Springsteen, and more about the music a part of both his career and life.

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O'Shea Jackson Jr. Interview

O’Shea Jackson Jr. may not be guaranteed a long and successful career as a film actor, but there is certainly no shortage of motivating and inspiring factors in his life to get him there. Although he’s been acting for less than five years, he’s had a succession of fascinating roles in a short time, beginning with playing his father, the rapper Ice Cube, in the 2015 N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton. After key supporting parts in the dark comedy Ingrid Goes West (opposite Aubrey Plaza) and the brutal ensemble crime drama Den of Thieves, Jackson jumped at the chance to play Seth Rogen’s best friend Lance in Long Shot, a romantic-comedy set against the backdrop of politics, with Charlize Theron playing Charlotte Field, the current U.S. Secretary of State, who is on the verge of announcing her run at the presidency. Rogen plays journalist Fred Flarsky, who has known Charlotte since they were kids and she used to babysit for him. When she hires him to help her punch-up her speeches, the two begin to have all the feels for each other.

But Jackson’s May is just beginning. He also co-stars as the head of the secret, kaiju-fighting branch of the military in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, due May 31. And he just wrapped work on the drama Just Mercy, the latest from Short Term 12 writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton; the film co-stars Brie Larson, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Foxx. And it appears Jackson is gearing up to star opposite LeBron James in Space Jam 2 (working from a new script by Black Panther‘s Ryan Coogler and Searching‘s Sev Ohaniandue), for release in 2021.

/Film spoke with Jackson in Chicago recently to discuss the importance of not being pigeonholed as an actor, what he learned from working with Rogen and Theron, and just how many monsters he has scenes with in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Long Shot opens nationwide on Friday, May 3.

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Jonathan Levine Interview

Put Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron in a rom-com and that’s automatically a funny combination. Long Shot goes there, but there’s also much more to it. It’s also about politics, particularly about women in politics, and about the media and journalism. The Wackness, 50/50 and Snatched director Jonathan Levine directs the script by Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah.

Fred Flarsky (Rogen) is a liberal blogger who quits when conservative Wembley Media buys the site he writes for. Secretary of State Charlotte Field (Theron) used to be Fred’s babysitter, so she hires him to write speeches for her Presidential campaign. Romance does ensue, but against the backdrop of double standards for women, hypocritical self-righteousness, and classic ‘90s references.

Levine spoke with /Film by phone this week about his latest movie, which was formerly known as Flarsky. Long Shot is in theaters today.

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Long Shot trailer Seth Rogen

Long Shot premiered to rave reviews at this year’s South By Southwest Film Festival. It’s a smart, funny, charming movie that features surprising chemistry between stars Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron – but this new trailer would like to remind you that the film also has its fair share of physical comedy.

Rogen’s character, a journalist named Fred Flarsky, takes two huge spills in this trailer that would have sidelined a normal human for the rest of the movie, so it’s a good thing Flarksy is also a superhero named Long Shot who’s invulnerable to pain! (He isn’t.) Read More »

long shot trailer

He’s a dorky-looking speechwriter, she’s a gorgeous, powerful politician. It’s an unexpected match that makes for a great romantic-comedy in Long Shot. Starring Charlize Theron and Seth RogenLong Shot — formerly known as Flarsky — follows the unexpected romance between US Secretary of State, Charlotte Field (Theron), and her childhood friend Fred Flarsky (Rogen) who she hires as her speechwriter. Lionsgate has released a new Long Shot trailer and clip that highlight just how that budding romance came to be. Watch them below.

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Red Band Long Shot Trailer

Seth Rogen gets his own Pretty Woman in the form of the raunchy romantic comedy Long Shot.

The comedy from 50/50 director Jonathan Levine follows the Knocked Up star as a journalist named Fred Flarsky who gets recruited as a presidential campaign speechwriter for US Secretary of State, Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron). She needs some humor and charm to change the public’s perception of her, and Flarsky has no problem bringing that to the table. But he’s also bringing some unrequited feelings with him from when Charlotte used to babysit him as a kid. Surprisingly, romance ensues in the red band Long Shot trailer below. Read More »

Long Shot - Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen

Director Jonathan Levine (50/50, Warm Bodies) is back with a new Seth Rogen/Charlize Theron comedy called Long Shot. If that title doesn’t sound familiar, you may recognize it from its earlier (and arguably more memorable) title: Flarsky. The title was changed to signify that it wasn’t primarily the story of Rogen’s character, Fred Flarsky, but more of a two-hander where Theron’s character is equally as important. “I’m only half the story,” Rogen explained. Check out the first Long Shot trailer below. Read More »

Long Shot

Update: On Twitter, Rogen has explained the reason for the title change. Our original article follows, and you can read his explanation below.

For a long time, director Jonathan Levine‘s new movie was going by its original title: Flarsky. And then someone at Lionsgate realized that calling a film Flarsky is an invitation to make no money at the box office because it sounds like an off-brand medicinal soda only available in three states, so they’ve changed it. Flarsky is dead. Meet Long Shot.

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best Netflix original true crime

Netflix has turned true crime documentaries into must-binge-TV. With a series of films and docu-series, the streaming service rejuvenated the somewhat stale sub-genre, churning out stunning, shocking works that resonate in ways many past true crime docs haven’t. This week, Netflix has revived a classic true crime docu-series – The Staircaseadding new episodes to the previously-completed show. Now, The Staircase grows an ever-crowded line-up of Netflix true crime docs.

Sorting through all of these documentaries and docu-series to find the good stuff can be a bit overwhelming. With that in mind, I’ve checked my sources, pinned a bunch of notes up on a cork-board, connected all those notes with string, and compiled a list of the best Netflix original true crime documentaries.

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now stream this halloween

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.) 

Hello, boils and ghouls! Welcome to a special spooktacular edition of Now Stream This! (Please imagine me saying all of this in the voice of the Crypt Keeper from Tales from the Crypt). It’s October, which means it’s Halloween season. That’s right, if you thought Halloween was just one day you are 100% incorrect. Halloween lasts all month long, and in the spirit of the season, I’ve highlighted 10 frightastic films for you to stream this month. Unless you’re too scared to watch them! There’s a classic documentary about witchcraft, an excellent remake, a cannibal coming-of-age tale, and more!

So put on your best Dracula cape and/or witch hat, light a Jack-O-Lantern candle, and join me as I highlight the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming.

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