Showing posts with label Judd Apatow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Judd Apatow. Show all posts

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from September 9th to 15th, 2018 - Update #14

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MOVIES - From THR:  What's going on with the movie version of the hit Broadway musical, "Wicked."

COMICS-FILM - From Deadline: Elizabeth Tulloch will portray "Lois Lane" in The CW's crossover event that will unite three of its DC Comics TV series, "The Flash," "Arrow," and "Supergirl."

COMICS-FILM - From THR:  Actor Henry Cavill is apparently no longer playing Superman in Warner Bros./DC Comics films.

TELEVISION-SCANDAL - From THR:  Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the creator of the iconic CBS television comedy, "Designing Women," talks about her non-sexual harassment feud with disgraced former CBS head honcho, Les Moonves.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Halle Berry will make her directorial debut in the mixed-martial arts (MMA) film, "Brusided."  She will also star in the film.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  Who will be the next groper slash exposer-in-chief at CBS?

MOVIES - From ThePlaylist:  Oscar-winner Jordan Peele ("Get Out") interested in reviving the "Candyman" horror movie franchise.

TELEVISION-SCANDAL - From CBSNews:   Sexual harassment and abuse allegations-ridden Les Moones steps down as CEO and chairman of CBS.

From YahooTheWrap:  TV and film writer, director, and producer Judd Apatow says disgraced ex CBS head honcho, Les Moonves, should be in jail.

EMMYS - From RollingStone:  John Legend, Tim Rice, and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber won an Emmy Saturday night for "Outstanding Variety Special (Live)" making the them the 13th, 14th, and 15th persons to be EGOT winners.  EGOT means that someone has won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and a Tony.  Legend is the first Black man to earn the EGOT.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 9/7 to 9/9/2018 weekend box office is "The Nun" with an estimated take of $53.5 million.

EMMYS - From GoldDerby:  Here is a complete list of winners from Saturday's (Sept. 8th) 2018 Creative Arts Emmy winners.

CULTURE-BLM - From BuzzFlash:  Swimming while Black in America is more dangerous than ever in the age of "President" Trump.

TELEVISION-SCANDAL - From YahooHuffPost:  CBS chairman and CEO Les Mooves to step down soon as sexual harassment allegations and accusations against him continue to mount.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Inside CNN Films, the Company Behind ‘RBG’ and ‘Three Identical Strangers’

POLITICS - From TIME:  Trump Is 'Capitalizing on Resentment.' Read Barack Obama's Full Speech on the State of U.S. Democracy - from Friday, September 7, 2018.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from August 13th to 19th, 2017 - Update #38

Support Leroy on Patreon.

MUSIC - From YahooNews:  JAY-Z opens up about the Met Gala elevator whuppin' he got from his sister-in-law Solange, sister of his wife, Beyonce.

MOVIES - From Variety:  "Super Troopers 2" set to be released April 20, 2017.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Billy Howle has joined "Outlaw King," the next film from director David Mackenzie of "Hell or High Water."

CULTURE - From Splinter:  Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer, the young woman killed by a Trump voter in Charlottesville, Virginia, offers a defiant eulogy for her daughter.

CULTURE - From Salon:  Judd Apatow ("Knocked Up," The 40-Year-Old Virgin") explains why conservatives make bad entertainment.

COMICS-FILM - From FlickeringMyth:  Director David F. Sandberg gives an update on his DC Extended Universe film, "Shazam."

TELEVISION - From TVLine:  ABC has given a "put-pilot" order (which means they are more than likely to broadcast it, I think) for a live-action reboot of classic 1960s animated TV series, "The Jetsons."  Robert Zemeckis is executive producing.

DISNEY - From Variety:  Netflix in talks with the Walt Disney Company for streaming rights to Marvel and Star Wars movies.

CELEBRITY:  YahooCelebrity:  Iman shares rare photo of her daughter with David Bowie, Alexandria.

HEALTH - From YahooFitness:  35-year-old fitness pro deliberately looks twice his age.

COMICS-FILM - From YahooMovies:  An international trailer for "Thor: Ragnarok" features Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange.

MOVIES - From THR:  "The Conjuring" has launched a cinematic universe (that includes the "Annabelle" films) that works.

MOVIES - From THR:  Cate Blanchett joins Jack Black in Eli Roth's "The House with a Clock in its Walls," based on the late John Bellairs' novel.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Lionsgate is developing an all-female production of Oscar Wilde's 1890 novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray."

MOVIES - From THR:  Production on "Mission: Impossible 6" will be shut down for 2 to 3 months while Tom Cruise recovers from an on-set injury.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Justin Simien of "Dear White People" is working on his next film, "Bad Hair" with his "Dear White People" team.

OBAMA - From YahooNews:  Former President Barack Obama's #Charlottesville tweet is not the most popular in terms of "likes" in the history of Twitter.

JAMES BOND - From THR:  On "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Daniel Craig confirms that he is returning as James Bond for the film currently known as "Bond 25."

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  The manager and friends of Joi "S.J." Harris, the stuntwoman who was killed while executing a stunt for "Deadpool 2," says she died doing what she loved.

CELEBRITY - From YahooCelebrity:  There is a contest in which the winner and a friend can drink wine with JLaw and even have a picnic with her.

SPORTS - From YahooSports:  Charlottesville, Virginia native, Chris Long, Defensive End of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, won't just "stick to sports."

OBAMA - From YahooNews:  Former President Barack Obama's tweet about this past weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia is the third most popular tweet on Twitter (in terms of "likes") ever.

TELEVISION - From Variety:  Michael Sheen and David Tennant will star in Amazon's TV adaptation of "Good Omens," the novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

TELEVISION - From TVGuide:  After 15 years of producing TV series for ABC (like "Grey's Anatomy"), Shonda Rhimes is moving to Netflix.

POLITICS - From Reuters:  Merck CEO Kenneth C. Frazier has quit President Trump's American Manufacturing Council.  Frazier says that he is leaving over Trump's initial response to the Charlottesville White Nationalist riots, a response many consider lame and weak.  Trump's response to Frazier leaving has been more critical than Trump's response to Nazis, the KKK, and White Nationalists.

From NBCSports:  Under Armor CEO Kevin Plank also leaving Trump's manufacturing council because of the President's reluctance to criticize violent White supremacy.

MOVIES - From Variety:  A female stunt driver has died following a motorcycle accident on the set of "Deadpool 2."

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 8/11 to 8/13/2017 weekend box office is "Annabelle: Creation" with an estimated take of $35 million.

MOVIES - From THR:  Tom Cruise apparently injured while performing a stunt for "Mission: Impossible 6."

MOVIES - From Indiewire:  David Lynch almost directed 1982's Fast Times at Ridgemont High" says the film's screenwriter, Cameron Crowe.  Amy Heckerling did direct the film.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Paramount wins the bidding war over a biopic about Leonardo da Vinci, which will star Leonardo DiCaprio.


From THR:  Actor, playwright, and screenwriter, Joe Bologna, has died at the age of 82, Sunday, August 13, 2017.  As an actor, he may be best remembered for his role in 1982's "My Favorite Year."  As a screenwriter, Bologna received an Oscar nomination for 1970's "Love and Other Strangers."

Crisis in Charlottesville:

From TheVillageVoice:  Scenes from a bloody weekend in Charlottesville.

From RSN:  Trump having hard time condemning his supporter's murderous actions.

From CNN:  Two Virginia state troopers are killed in a helicopter crash near the Charlottesville White Nationalists rally.

From YahooFinance:  Before White Nationalist James Alex Fields, Jr. drove the car that killed Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, he was photographed wearing "Vanguard America" uniform.

From YahooNews:  32-year-old Heather Heyer of Virginia has been identified as the victim the White Nationalist car attack in Charlottesville, Virginia.

From GuardianUK:  Far-right rally descends into violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

From YahooNews:  FBI begins investigation into car attack at White nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

From YahooNews:  Clash in Charlottesville in pictures.

From TheDailyBeast:  James Alex Fields, Jr. drove his car into a crowd in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing 1 and injuring at least 20.

From YahooNews:  Mother of #Charlottesville car attacker speaks.

From LATimes: Opinion - President Trump bears some responsibility for racism on display in Charlottesville.

Friday, September 9, 2016

"Young Frankenstein" Returns to Theaters for One Night Only - October 5th, 2016

‘Fronkensteen’ or ‘Frankenstein’? Audiences Decide When ‘Young Frankenstein’ Jolts Back Into U.S. Cinemas for One Special Night With a Live Introduction by Legendary Mel Brooks

Presented by Fathom Events and Twentieth Century Fox, This 1974 Classic Spoof on Horror Films Hits the Big Screen October 5, 2016 Only

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--It’s alive! It’s alive! up on the big screen for one special night when 20th Century Fox and Fathom Events present the electrifying comedy classic “Young Frankenstein” in cinemas nationwide. Seeing this black-and-white masterpiece on the big screen with fellow audience members is a rarity in itself, but to make this screening a truly one-of-a-kind experience, writer and director Mel Brooks will introduce the classic live from the 20th Century Fox Lot—near the “Young Frankenstein” Mural on Stage 5, which was unveiled on the film’s 40th anniversary.

    .@FathomEvents News: It's alive! It's alive! #YoungFrankenstein is up on the big screen for one special night 10/5

Brooks will also pay tribute to his friend and the film’s star and co-writer, Gene Wilder, who passed away recently.

“Young Frankenstein” comes to movie theaters nationwide on Wednesday, October 5, 2016, at 8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT / 6:00 p.m. MT / 5:00 p.m. PT. During the introduction, Brooks will give moviegoers a tour of the Fox studio lot, including Mel Brooks Blvd., the Young Frankenstein mural, and the location of the film’s original shoot.

Tickets for “Young Frankenstein” can be purchased online by visiting or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 400 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Young Frankenstein brings together Brooks’ inimitable style with a loaded cast of comedy legends, including Gene Wilder as Frederick Fronkensteen, Marty Feldman as shifty humpback Igor, Teri Garr as the hay-rolling lab assistant Inga, Madeleine Kahn as Dr. Frankenstein’s high-strung fiancée Elizabeth, Peter Boyle as the kind-hearted monster, an uncredited Gene Hackman as the blind man who befriends him, and Cloris Leachman as Frau Blücher.

Join the young neurosurgeon (Wilder), as he inherits the castle of his grandfather, the famous Dr. Victor von Frankenstein. Young Frankenstein believes that the work of his grandfather is useless, but when he discovers the book where the mad doctor described his reanimation experiment, he suddenly changes his mind.

“Mel Brooks has sold out venues nationwide, including Radio City Music Hall, when he has introduced his movie classics. It is an incredible honor to be able to bring fans all over the country a live, personal introduction by Mel to one of his most famous and unforgettable films,” Fathom Events Vice President of Studio Relations Tom Lucas said. “It will be a night to remember.”

Following the massive success of Brooks’ Blazing Saddles, Twentieth Century Fox unleashed Young Frankenstein on audiences on December 15, 1974, and it went on to play for months, grossing more than $86 million – equivalent to nearly $400 million in today’s dollars. Nominated for two Academy Awards®, including its screenplay by Wilder and Brooks, Young Frankenstein has become one of the best-known – and most quoted – comedies of all time, ranking No. 13 on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 funniest films.

Continuing the celebration of this comedy classic, Black Dog & Leventhal, an imprint of Hachette Books, will be publishing Young Frankenstein: A Mel Brooks Book: The Making of the Film, an oversized, illustrated book featuring a complete, behind-the-scenes look at the making of Young Frankenstein, with a foreword by Judd Apatow. This new hardcover will be available wherever books are sold on October 18, 2016.

About Fathom Events
Fathom Events is recognized as the leading domestic distributor of event cinema, and ranks as one of the largest overall distributors of content to movie theaters. Owned by AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC), Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK) and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) (known collectively as AC JV, LLC), Fathom Events offers a variety of one-of-a-kind entertainment events that include live, high-definition performances of the Metropolitan Opera, dance and theatre productions such as the Bolshoi Ballet and National Theatre Live’s Hamlet, sporting events like FS1 Presents USA v Mexico, concerts with Roger Waters and One Direction, the TCM Presents classic film series and faith-based events such as The Drop Box and Four Blood Moons. Fathom Events takes audiences behind the scenes and offers unique extras including audience Q&As, backstage footage and interviews with cast and crew, creating the ultimate VIP experience. Fathom Events’ live digital broadcast network (“DBN”) is the largest cinema broadcast network in North America, bringing live and pre-recorded events to 887 locations and 1,354 screens in 181 Designated Market Areas® (including all of the top 50). For more information, visit

About 20th Century Fox
One of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, 20th Century Fox produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world. These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of 20th Century Fox Film: Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox International Productions, and Twentieth Century Fox Animation.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review: Amy Schumer Shows Her Brilliance in "Trainwreck"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 10 (of 2016) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

Trainwreck (2015)
Running time:  125 minutes (2 hours, 5 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use
DIRECTOR:  Judd Apatow
WRITER:  Amy Schumer
PRODUCERS:  Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel
EDITORS:  William Kerr, Peck Prior, and Paul Zucker
COMPOSER:  Jon Brion


Starring:  Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Tilda Swinton, Brie Larson, Mike Birbiglia, Evan Brinkman, LeBron James, Amar'e Stoudemire, Colin Quinn, John Cena, Dave Attell, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Jon Glaser, Ezra Miller, Norman Lloyd, Cliff “Method Man” Smith, Matthew Broderick, Leslie Jones, Marisa Tomei, and Daniel Radcliffe

Trainwreck is a 2015 comedy and romance directed by Judd Apatow and written by and starring Amy Schumer.  The film focuses on a woman who prefers sexual encounters instead of committed relations and who then meets the kind of good guy that she cannot simply leave.

Amy Townsend (Amy Schumer) is a party girl who drinks too much, smokes weed, and sleeps around with other guys, even when she has a boyfriend, as her current boyfriend, the muscle-bound gym-addict, Steven (John Cena), is about to discover.  Amy learned her promiscuous ways from her father, Gordon Townsend (Colin Quinn), who once told her that monogamy is not realistic.   Strangely, Amy's sister, Kim (Brie Larson), is doing just fine with her boyfriend, Tom (Mike Birbiglia), and she is even more of a mother than a stepmother to Tom's son, Allister (Evan Brinkman).

Amy writes for a raunchy men's magazine, “Snuff.”  Her boss, Dianna (Tilda Swinton), assigns her to write an article about a sports doctor named Aaron Conner (Bill Hader).  After Aaron helps her with a family matter, Amy feels a bond with him and even has sex with him.  However, Aaron sees that as the beginning of a romance, while Amy sees the sex as a one-night stand.  Amy tries to find a way to avoid monogamy, even when part of her starts to believe that Aaron could be the good guy she needs to keep.

If you like Amy Schumer (and I do), you will like Trainwreck (and I do – for the most part).  As a romantic comedy, however, the film really doesn't work.  Bill Hader is a comedian and a professional impersonator (at which he is quite good), but he has no business trying to be a romantic lead.  There is nothing remotely interesting about him in this film; he delivers what is almost a zombie performance.

I really don't buy Schumer as a romantic lead or as a magazine writer.  Schumer is at her best when she is skewering social, sexual, and gender conventions.  The character Amy Townsend is at her best when she is being a one-night stand or is mocking other people's ambitions of respectability.  When actress Amy tries to make fictional Amy fall in love... well, it's a trainwreck.

Tilda Swinton gives a killer performance as Amy's despicable boss, Dianna.  Swinton can disappear behind even the least amount of movie make-up and hair with the best of them.  John Cena delivers a sparkling two-scene performance as Steven.  Every time Colin Quinn is on screen as Amy's father, Gordon, he is a delight to see.  Director Judd Apatow does not do much here, except get out of Amy Schumer's way, which works when it works, but he does nothing to save the last third of this film which is a... trainwreck.

Still, for most of this movie, Amy Schumer proves why she is currently an it-girl.  She is brilliant when she is at the top of her game, and in Trainwreck, she occasionally shows off her brilliance.

6 of 10

Friday, January 8, 2016

Edited: Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2016 Golden Globes, USA:  2 nominations: “Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical” and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical” (Amy Schumer)

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Negromancer News Bits and Bites for Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Washington Post began the walk back on Ann Hornaday's May 25th column/rant that blamed in part the recent Isla Vista massacre on the films like those made by Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow.  Hornaday responded to the controversy of her original column.


Actor Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men) will apparently play Thanos in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (due August 1, 2014).


Apparently, Quentin Tarantino left enough of Django Unchained on the cutting room floor that he wants to re-edit the film:

“My idea, frankly, is to cut together a four-hour version of 'Django Unchained,'” he said on Friday. “But I wouldn’t show it like a four-hour movie. I would cut it up into hour chapters. Like a four-part miniseries. And show it on cable television. Show it like an hour at a time, each chapter.”

Tarantino won a best original screenplay Oscar for the film.  More at Variety.


Monsters and Godzilla director Gareth Edwards has apparently signed on to direct one of Walt Disney's Star Wars spinoff films.  Garry Whitta (Book of Eli) is writing the script for the spinoff.  Which spinoff: no one knows.


Edgar Wright has apparently left Marvel's Ant-Man movie.

The directors interviewing to replace Wright are Rawson Marshall Thurber (We're the Millers), Adam McKay (the Anchorman movies), and Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland)


Bunny Yeager, the pin-up model turned photographer, died Sunday, May 25, 2014.  She was 85.  This New York Times obituary gives an overview of her life and work.  Yeager famously photographed pin-up queen, Bettie Page, in a leopard-print swimsuit.  I recently reviewed the documentary, Bettie Page Reveals All, which has a segment on the Page-Yeager combination.


Herb Jeffries was a pioneering actor in Westerns that were targeted at African-America.  Best known as the "Bronze Buckaroo," Jeffries died Sunday, May 25, 2014,  He was 100-years-old.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: "Anchorman 2" is Enough... Really

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 19 (of 2014) by Leroy Douresseaux

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)
Running time:  112 minutes; MPAA – PG-13 for crude and sexual content, drug use, language and comic violence
WRITERS:  Will Ferrell and Adam McKay (based on characters created by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay)
PRODUCERS:  Judd Apatow, Will Ferrell, and Adam McKay
CINEMATOGRAPHERS:  Patrick Capone and Oliver Wood (D.o.P.)
EDITORS:  Brent White and Melissa Bretherton
COMPOSERS:  Andrew Feltenstein and John Nau


Starring:  Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steven Carell, David Koechner, Christina Applegate, Dylan Baker, Meagan Good, Judah Nelson, James Marsden, Greg Kinnear, Josh Lawson, Kristen Wiig, Fred Willard, Chris Parnell, Bill Curtis (narrator) and Harrison Ford with Will Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Kirsten Dunst, Marion Cotillard, and Joe Washington

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is a 2013 comedy directed by Adam McKay and written by McKay and actor Will Ferrell.  The film is a sequel to Anchorman:  The Legend of Ron BurgundyAnchorman 2 finds Ron Burgundy putting the 70s behind him and returning to New York City to take a 24-hour news channel by storm.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues begins in New York City where Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) are the husband and wife co-anchors of WBC News.  Then, Veronica is promoted, while Ron is fired.  Ron returns to San Diego, but soon gets an offer to return to NYC.  GNN – Global News Network – is the world’s first 24-hour news network, and they offer Ron a job.

Ron gets to form his own news team, so he reassembles his old gang:  lecherous beat reporter, Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd); Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), the mentally challenged weatherman; and Champ Kind (David Koechner), the chauvinist, racist, and dude-cowboy sports reporter.  Back in NYC, Ron discovers that Veronica has moved on from their relationship, and he struggles to connect with his son, Walter (Judah Nelson).  GNN also proves to be filled with people that don’t like Ron and are determined to keep him from becoming a star in the big city.

However it worked out, having nine years pass between the first Anchorman movie and the sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, is a good thing.  If the sequel had been released even as late as five years after the original, I think it would have been too soon.  Nine years later, audiences are again ready for more of the utterly ridiculous antics of Ron Burgundy and his three clownish amigos plus one chick.  Yes, there are new characters, but the sequel is more of the same.

The noticeable difference is that Will Ferrell and Adam McKay gleefully poke fun at and mock cable news networks and the non-news, infotainment media junk food that these networks have elevated to top story status over the last two decades.  This includes car chases, celebrity scandals, missing white girls, and other lurid news.  Without being named, FOX News takes the biggest hits from Anchorman 2.

A lot of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues made me laugh out loud, but I found that the film was too long at almost two hours of runtime.  I was ready for it to be over, even with all the movie star and celebrity cameos that fill the last act like sparkly roaches.  Do I want more Ron Burgundy?  Ask me in another nine years.

6 of 10

Friday, April 11, 2014

The text is copyright © 2014 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for syndication rights and fees.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"12 Years a Slave," "Blue Jasmine" Lead Costume Designer Guild Awards

by Amos Semien

The winners of the 16th Costume Designers Guild Awards were announced Saturday, February 22, 2014.  The winners of the seven competitive awards were revealed at the awards gala held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and hosted by actor Joshua Malina, known for his roles in “The West Wing” and “Scandal.”

The Guild handed out competitive awards for costume design excellence in seven categories for in film, television and commercial work.  Four honorary awards also were presented at the Awards Gala.

This year, the Guild honored five-time Academy Award nominee Amy Adams with the LACOSTE Spotlight Award, which was presented to her by Jeremy Renner, her co-star in the film American Hustle.

The Distinguished Collaborator Award was presented to acclaimed writer, producer and director, Judd Apatow by Bill Hader and Jonah Hill in recognition of his support of Costume Design and creative partnerships with Costume Designers.

Actors Debra Winger and Ciarán Hinds presented Emmy Award-winning Costume Designer April Ferry with this year’s Honorary Career Achievement Award for her outstanding work in film and television.

2014 / 16th Costume Designers Guild Award Winners (for the year 2013) – Complete List:

Blue Jasmine – Suzy Benzinger

12 Years a Slave – Patricia Norris

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Trish Summerville

"House of Cards" – Tom Broecker

"Downton Abbey" – Caroline McCall

Behind the Candelabra – Ellen Mirojnick

Call of Duty: Ghosts Masked Warriors – Nancy Steiner


Saturday, February 22, 2014

"Anchorman 2" Re-Released with 763 All-New Jokes

“ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES: SUPER SIZED R RATED VERSION” in Theaters February 28 for One-Week Exclusive Run

For the First Time Ever: Hit Comedy Gets Re-Released with 763 All-New Jokes

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Paramount Pictures and Gary Sanchez Productions today announced an unprecedented theatrical release of an all new cut of the hit film “ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES,” starring Will Ferrell, in theaters in the U.S. and U.K. beginning February 28th for one-week only.

The new version of the film, titled “ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES: SUPER SIZED R RATED VERSION,” will feature 763 entirely new jokes from legendary anchorman Ron Burgundy and America’s favorite 24-hour global news team. The film is now rated R.

“When my editor told me we had a whole different version of the movie that was more than two hours long with nearly 800 new jokes, I was shocked. But when Paramount said they were actually going to put it in theaters, I did an 1950’s spit take. If you’re a hardcore Anchorman fan go see this. If you’re not, stay very far away," said writer / director Adam McKay.

“ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES,” a sequel to 2004’s cult film “ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY,” was released in theaters on December 18, 2013 and has earned more than $170 million at the worldwide box office to date.

For ticketing info, go to

With the 70’s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), returns to the news desk in "ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES," which opened in theaters everywhere December 18. Also back for more are Ron’s co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), weather man Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), man on the street reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner) - All of whom won’t make it easy to stay classy… while taking New York and the nation’s first 24-hour news channel by storm. Produced by Judd Apatow, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Written by Will Ferrell & Adam McKay. Directed by Adam McKay.

About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB) (NASDAQ: VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.

"Super-Sized" Return for "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues"

ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES: SUPER-SIZED R RATED VERSION in theaters February 28 for a one-week exclusive run

For the first time ever: hit comedy gets re-released with 763 all-new jokes!

Watch the new trailer:

Jonesing for more? Watch an all-new exclusive clip:

With the 70's behind him, San Diego's top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), returns to the newsdesk in ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES," which opened in theaters everywhere December 18.  Also back for more are Ron’s  co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), weather man Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), man on the street reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner) - All of whom won’t make it easy to stay classy… while taking New York and the nation’s first 24-hour news channel by storm.  Produced by Judd Apatow, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Written by Will Ferrell & Adam McKay.  Directed by Adam McKay.

For ticketing info, go to

Official website:

Official Twitter:
Official Facebook:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Costume Designers Guild Announces 2014 Award Nominees

by Amos Semien

The Costume Designers Guild is an international group that represents motion picture, television, and commercial costume designers, assistant costume designers and costume illustrators.  The Costume Designers Guild (CDG) is Local 892 of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E.).  The Costume Designers Guild Awards began in 1999 to annually honor costume designers in Motion Pictures, Television, and Commercials.

The nominees for the 16th Costume Designers Guild Awards were announced Wednesday, January 8, 2014.  The winners of the seven competitive awards will be revealed at the awards gala will be held on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel

The guild also announced that acclaimed writer, producer and director, Judd Apatow will receive the “Distinguished Collaborator Award” in recognition of his support of Costume Design and creative partnerships with Costume Designers.  An “Honorary Career Achievement Award” will also be presented to Costume Designer April Ferry for her outstanding work in film and television.

2014 / The 16th Costume Designers Guild Awards nominees (for the year in film 2013):

•“Blue Jasmine” – Suzy Benzinger
•“Her” – Casey Storm
•“Nebraska” – Wendy Chuck
•“Philomena” – Consolata Boyle
•“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” – Sarah Edwards

•“12 Years a Slave” – Patricia Norris
•“American Hustle” – Michael Wilkinson
•“Dallas Buyers Club” – Kurt & Bart
•“The Great Gatsby” – Catherine Martin
•“Saving Mr. Banks” – Daniel Orlandi

•The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Ann Maskrey, Richard Taylor, Bob Buck
•The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Trish Summerville
•Oz: The Great and Powerful – Gary Jones, Michael Kutsche

•“Breaking Bad” – Jennifer Bryan
•“House of Cards” – Tom Broecker
•“Nashville” – Susie DeSanto
•“Scandal” – Lyn Paolo
•“Saturday Night Live” – Tom Broecker, Eric Justian

•“Boardwalk Empire” – John Dunn, Lisa Padovani
•“The Borgias”– Gabriella Pescucci
•“Downton Abbey” – Caroline McCall
•“Game of Thrones” – Michele Clapton
•“Mad Men” – Janie Bryant

•“American Horror Story: Coven” – Lou Eyrich
•“Behind the Candelabra” – Ellen Mirojnick
•“Bonnie & Clyde” – Marilyn Vance
•“House of Versace” – Claire Nadon
•“Phil Spector” – Debra McGuire

•Call of Duty “Ghosts Masked Warriors” – Nancy Steiner
•Dos Equis: “Most Interesting Man in the World Feeds a Bear” – Julie Vogel
•Fiat “British Invasion” – Donna Zakowska


Thursday, October 24, 2013

"Anchorman" Sequel Inspires New Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Flavor

This Just In: Ben & Jerry’s Launches “Scotchy Scotch Scotch”

New Flavor Honors Legendary Anchorman Ron Burgundy

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--You heard it here first, folks! Ben & Jerry’s announces its newest Limited Batch ice cream flavor, "Scotchy Scotch Scotch.” Created in honor of beloved Ron Burgundy, the TV news anchor with a penchant for all things scotch, the flavor is a creamy concoction of butterscotch ice cream with ribbons of butterscotch swirl. Don’t act like you’re not impressed!

“Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch is a delicious ice cream and I hope Ben and Jerry consider my other suggestions,” said Ron Burgundy. “Malt liquor marshmallow, well liquor bourbon peanut butter, and cheap white wine sherbet.”

The flavor was officially unveiled at New York City’s Pier 36 where members of the press attended and witnessed the announcement first-hand. True to the iconic ice cream company’s untraditional style, the event kicked off with – what else? – a performance by Nutty The Waterskiing Squirrel, as seen in the first Anchorman film. Nutty’s amazing performance was immediately followed by the appearance of a Ben & Jerry’s scoop-truck-turned-Channel 4 News-truck, which rolled onto the scene transporting a legion of blazer-wearing Ron Burgundy look-alikes. After “Scotchy Scotch Scotch” was officially unveiled, attending media and fans were treated to free scoops of the new Ron Burgundy-inspired flavor.

Fans anxiously await December 20th, when Ron and his elite news team return to the news desk in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”

“As a company who believes our fans deserve nothing but the best, we have great respect for Ron Burgundy, who takes the same belief to heart,” said Lisa Sholk, Ben & Jerry’s Brand Manager, who lead the team on the Scotchy Scotch Scotch flavor project.

“Having Ben & Jerry’s celebrate the return of Ron Burgundy to the big screen with the introduction of this special ice cream is an exciting and delicious way to build anticipation for the film,” said LeeAnne Stables, President of Consumer Products at Paramount Pictures. “We especially enjoyed the sampling process over the last several months to find the perfect Scotchy scotch flavor.”

Scotchy Scotch Scotch is available now at participating scoop shops across the country. Pints of the flavor will arrive on store shelves over the next few weeks.

“To help locate the flavor as it rolls out, we’re asking fans of Ben & Jerry’s and Anchorman to log onto and share when and where they were able to have a taste,” Sholk said. “We want fans to be able to experience it all first-hand, because as Ron says, this flavor is ‘kind of a big deal.’”

With the 70's behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), returns to the news desk in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” Also back for more are Ron’s co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), weather man Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), man on the street Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner) – all of whom won’t make it easy to stay classy... while taking the nation’s first 24-hour news channel by storm. Produced by Judd Apatow, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Written by Will Ferrell & Adam McKay. Directed by Adam McKay.

To learn more about Ben & Jerry’s and to find a scoop shop near you, please visit

About Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and ice cream novelties, using high-quality ingredients including milk and cream from family farmers who do not treat their cows with the synthetic hormone rBGH. The company states its position on rBGH* on its labels. Ben and Jerry’s products are distributed nationwide and in selected foreign countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. Contributions made via the employee-led Ben & Jerry’s Foundation in 2012 totaled $1.8 million. Additionally, the company makes significant product donations to community groups and nonprofits both in Vermont and across the nation. The purpose of Ben & Jerry’s philanthropy is to support the founding values of the company: economic and social justice, environmental restoration and peace through understanding, and to support our Vermont communities. For the full scoop on all Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop locations and fabulous flavors, visit

About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group. TM & © 2013 Paramount Pictures Corp. All rights reserved.

* The FDA has said no significant difference has been shown and no test can now distinguish between milk from rBGH treated cows and untreated cows. Not all the suppliers of our other ingredients can promise that the milk they use comes from untreated cows.

Want to own a Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop? We’re looking for a few progressive entrepreneurs in key markets. Call 802.846.1500, extension 7818.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

New "Anchorman 2" Teaser Poster





Currently slated for release on December 20, 2013.

Monday, February 18, 2013

"Argo," "Zero Dark Thirty" Top 2013 Writers Guild Awards

by Leroy Douresseaux

Zero Dark Thirty, Argo, and Searching for Suger Man won the Writers Guild Awards in their respective screenplay categories last night.  In the cae of Zero Dark Thirty and Argo, I think they are at least the top two favorites in their corresponding categories at the Academy Awards.  Zero Dark Thirty has to deal with the spectre of Django Unchained, which did not receive a WGA nomination.  Argo has to deal with the screenplay for Silver Linings Playbook, which did receive a WGA nomination.

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) announced the winners of the 2013 Writers Guild Awards last night, Sunday, February 17, 2013. The awards were given for outstanding achievement in writing for screen, television, radio, news, promotional, videogame, and new media writing. The 2013 Writers Guild Awards held simultaneous ceremonies at the JW Marriott L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles and the B.B. King Blues Club in New York City.

The Writers Guild Awards are given in numerous categories, but I tend to focus on the film categories and only a few of the television categories. A complete list of winners can be found here:

2013 Writers Guild Awards Winners (in select categories):


Zero Dark Thirty, Written by Mark Boal; Columbia Pictures

Argo, Screenplay by Chris Terrio; Based on a selection from The Master of Disguise by Antonio J. Mendez and the Wired Magazine article “The Great Escape” by Joshuah Bearman; Warner Bros. Pictures

Searching for Sugar Man, Written by Malik Bendjelloul; Sony Pictures Classics


Breaking Bad, Written by Sam Catlin, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, George Mastras, Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett; AMC

Louie, Written by Pamela Adlon, Vernon Chatman, Louis C.K.; FX

Girls, Written by Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin, Lena Dunham, Sarah Heyward, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Jenni Konner, Deborah Schoeneman, Dan Sterling; HBO

“The Other Woman” (Mad Men), Written by Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner; AMC

“Virgin Territory” (Modern Family), Written by Elaine Ko; ABC

Hatfields & McCoys, Nights Two and Three, Teleplay by Ted Mann and Ronald Parker, Story by Bill Kerby and Ted Mann; History Channel

Game Change, Written by Danny Strong, Based on the book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann; HBO

“Ned ’N’ Edna’s Blend Agenda” (The Simpsons), Written by Jeff Westbrook; Fox

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Judd Apatow, "The Avengers" to Receive Honors

16th Annual Hollywood Film Awards, presented by The Los Angeles Times, is pleased to announce that writer/director/producer Judd Apatow will be given the “Hollywood Comedy Award”; actor John Hawkes will receive the "Hollywood Breakout Performance Award"; actress Quvenzhane Wallis will receive the "New Hollywood Award"; cinematographer Wally Pfister, A.S.C. will receive the “Hollywood Cinematographer Award”; and Disney and Marvel Entertainment’s “The Avengers,” directed by Josh Whedon, produced by Kevin Feige and with visual effects from VFX supervisors Janek Sirrs and Jeff White will receive the “Hollywood Visual Effects Award.”

"We look forward to celebrating these exceptionally talented filmmakers and artists for their outstanding work and creative vision," said Carlos de Abreu, Founder and Executive Director of the Hollywood Film Awards.

The Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on October 22, 2012. The event honors cherished stars and up-and-coming talent, and traditionally kicks off the film awards season with the biggest stars and top industry executives in attendance.

"We are very proud to be the first stop of the awards season. In the last nine years, a total of 85 Oscar nominations and 32 Oscars were given to the honorees of the Hollywood Film Awards," said de Abreu.

Last year's awards show reached a total TV audience of more than 41 million media impressions, in addition to more than 300 million online and print readers' impressions.

Aside from celebrating accomplishments on screen, the Hollywood Film Awards established the "Hollywood Gives Back" program to expand and continue highlighting and assisting important local and national charities to raise funds. Over the years, the Hollywood Film Awards has contributed to such charities as the following: The Art of Elysium, Artists For Human Rights, Artists for Peace and Justice,, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, the Enough Project, and Variety The Children's Charity of So. CA, among others.

Further, the Hollywood Film Awards selects individuals to be recipients of their "Hollywood Humanitarian Awards" in recognition of their contribution to the betterment of their communities or society at large. Prior recipients include Nobel Peace Prize winner and ex-President of East Timor, Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta, Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, Father Rick Frechette, and actor and activist Sean Penn.

Audiences will get to experience Judd Apatow's next film, "This Is 40," when it is released by Universal Pictures on December 21, 2012. An original comedy that expands upon the story of Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) from the blockbuster hit "Knocked Up," we will see first-hand how they are dealing with their current state of life. The film also stars John Lithgow, Megan Fox, Iris Apatow, Maude Apatow, Jason Segel, Melissa McCarthy, Robert Smigel, Charlene Yi and Albert Brooks.

Initially aspiring to become a professional comedian, Apatow eventually stopped performing in favor of writing. After writing on a few award shows, cable specials, "The Larry Sanders Show" and "The Ben Stiller Show" (which he co-created), Apatow served as an executive producer on NBC's critically-acclaimed "Freaks and Geeks." He then made his feature-film debut as a director with 2005's "The 40-Year-Old Virgin." Co-written by Apatow and the film's star, Steve Carell, "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" opened at No. 1 at the box office. In 2007, he directed, wrote and produced "Knocked Up," which grossed more than $200 million internationally. He followed this up by producing the hit comedies "Superbad," "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "Pineapple Express" and writing and directing 2009's "Funny People." Additional producing credits include "The Cable Guy," "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," and "Get Him to the Greek."

In 2011, he produced the most successful R-rated female comedy of all time, "Bridesmaids," which received Oscar® nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress (Melissa McCarthy), as well as numerous other awards. Apatow is currently in production on the HBO series "Girls," and recently produced "The Five-Year Engagement," the latest comedy from director Nicholas Stoller.

John Hawkes has been working non-stop since his critically acclaimed performance as Teardrop in "Winter's Bone," the role which earned him an Independent Spirit Award win and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Next, Hawkes will be seen in Ben Lewin's "The Sessions," the story of a man confined to an iron lung who is determined - at age 38 - to lose his virginity. He also recently completed production on "Lincoln," "Arcadia" and "The Playroom."

Hawkes' additional film credits include "Higher Ground," "Contagion," "Martha Marcy May Marlene," "Me and You and Everyone We Know," "American Gangster," "Miami Vice," "Identity," "The Perfect Storm," "Small Town Saturday Night," "Hardball," "Wristcutters: A Love Story," "The Amateurs," "From Dusk Till Dawn," and "A Slipping-Down Life." On the small screen, Hawkes starred as Sol Star in HBO's critically lauded drama "Deadwood" and now plays Danny McBride's brother Dustin in the comedy "Eastbound and Down."

At the age of five, Quvenzhané Wallis, a Louisiana native, was cast as the lead in Benh Zeitlin's critically acclaimed feature film "Beasts of the Southern Wild." Her portrayal of Hushpuppy, a young girl growing up in the flood plagued bayous of Louisiana, is being recognized as one of the best performances by a child actor in over a decade. The film went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and the Caméra d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Wallis recently wrapped production on Steve McQueen's highly anticipated film "Twelve Years A Slave," in which she will play the daughter of a man kidnapped from New York City in the early 1800s and sold into slavery.

Wally Pfister's ascent as a director of photography began when he shot Christopher Nolan's "Memento" in 1999. That work earned him a Spirit award nomination for cinematography. Since then, he has joined the ranks of the top Hollywood cinematographers, earning 3 Academy Award nominations, and one win for his work. The first nomination came for 2005s "Batman Begins," for which he was also honored, by his peers, with an American Society of Cinematographers Award nomination. The following year, he was nominated for his cinematography work on "The Prestige," and in 2009, for Christopher Nolan's record-breaking blockbuster, "The Dark Knight." He won his Oscar in 2010 for "Inception" also directed by Nolan. He also served as director of photography on the thriller, "Insomnia," for Nolan, "The Italian Job," directed by F. Gary Gray, as well as "Laurel Canyon," and "Moneyball". Films that Pfister has photographed on have grossed over three-billion dollars worldwide. In between feature films, Pfister also works as Director/Cameraman on Commercials. He is currently in pre-production on his feature film Directorial debut, which is due to begin filming in early 2013.

Janek Sirrs is a respected VFX veteran, whose credits include The Matrix, I am Legend, Batman Begins, and Iron Man 2. He won the Best Visual Effects Oscar for the Matrix and was nominated for Iron Man 2.

Jeff White joined ILM in 2002 as a creature technical director. He has a Masters of Fine Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and has spent the last 5 years as Associate VFX Supervisor on the Transformers franchise. The Avengers marks his first time at the helm as Visual Effects Supervisor.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"Bridesmaids" Offers More Than Just Belly Laughs

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 89 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux

Bridesmaids (2011)
Running time: 125 minutes (2 hours, 5 minutes)
MPAA – R for some strong sexuality, and language throughout
WRITERS: Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo
PRODUCERS: Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, and Clayton Townsend
EDITOR: William Kerr and Mike Sale


Starring: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, Jill Clayburgh, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Tim Heidecker, Rebel Wilson, Matt Lucas, Michael Hitchcock, Franklyn Ajaye, Terry Crews, Jon Hamm, and Wilson Phillips (Carnie Wilson, Wendy Wilson, and Chynna Phillips)

Bridesmaids is a 2011 comedy and drama starring and co-written by Kristen Wiig, a current cast member of “Saturday Night Live” (as of this writing). Produced by Apatow Productions, Bridesmaids follows a down-on-her-luck maid of honor whose personal problems threaten to derail a friend’s wedding.

Annie Walker (Kristen Wiig) is a single woman in her mid 30s and lives in Milwaukee. In recent years, she has seen her dream bakery (called Cake Baby) fail and drain away her life savings. Her current boyfriend, the self-absorbed Ted (Jon Hamm), really isn’t her boyfriend; Ted is just someone who uses Annie for sex. When her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), announces that she is engaged to marry her boyfriend, Doug (Tim Heidecker), Annie should be happy for her, but Lillian’s impending nuptials only make Annie think about her own sad state of affairs.

Lillian asks Annie to be her maid of honor, but at the engagement party, Annie is shocked to discover that one of the other bridesmaids, Helen Harris III (Rose Byrne), has a relationship with Lillian that can best be described as “best friends.” Annie is also put off by the other bridesmaids: raunchy, cynical, frustrated housewife, Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey); idealistic new bride, Becca (Ellie Kemper); and Lillian’s crude, but lively future sister-in-law, Megan (Melissa McCarthy). Annie’s attempts at being maid of honor are disastrous and her life isn’t much better. Meanwhile, a local cop, Officer Nathan Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd), takes a liking to Annie.

The title, Bridesmaids, is a little misleading. This film is really about Annie Walker; all the other characters are supporting players to one degree or another. Even Lillian’s wedding, an event that weighs heavily on the story, is merely a subplot in Annie’s complicated life. I would say that much of what was shown in trailers and in television advertisements for this film, especially the hijinks of the Bridesmaids, mostly comes from a section of this film that runs from the end of the first hour to the first 30 or so minutes of the second hour.

That’s not to say that this movie isn’t funny. It’s quite funny. I found myself laughing out loud (really loud, sometimes) at many moments throughout this movie. The bridesmaids live up to the expectations, especially Melissa McCarthy, an Emmy winner for the CBS sitcom, “Mike & Molly.” McCarthy steals practically every scene in which she appears; there should be, at least, some kind of award nomination coming her way. On the other hand, one of this film’s faults is that Maya Rudolph’s Lillian is not in this movie enough. Every time Lillian appears, the movie seems to beg her to stay longer.

Still, this movie is really about Annie Walker, and to that extent, it is well-written by Wiig and co-writer Annie Mumolo. Wiig also gives an excellent comic performance, one that brings humor and sarcasm to Annie’s troubles without making them seem less troublesome. Annie’s life is pretty crappy. That Annie’s dilemmas feel so real is probably why having the policeman, Nathan Rhodes, show up in her life, adds such a lovely romantic touch to this movie. Irish comedian and actor Chris O’Dowd gives what is probably a career-turning performance as the genial, extremely likeable Rhodes, who is a kind of a knight in shining armor. Even I have a crush on the character.

For all the credit that Kristen Wiig, her co-writer, and the rest of the cast deserve, credit should also go to director Paul Feig. He knows just what tone to strike for each scene and also which genre conventions should be present depending on the moment. It’s one thing to direct a comedy-drama, but to also direct a romantic comedy that is connected to a spirit-crushing mid-life crisis is quite a feat.

Do believe the hype. Bridesmaids was a big hit in theatres because people liked it and kept spreading the word about it. And the word I want to use for it is “classic.” I hope it lives up to that. I think it will.

8 of 10

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Review: "Superbad" is a Top High School Comedy (Happy B'day, Michael Cera)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 121 (of 2007) by Leroy Douresseaux

Superbad (2007)
Running time: 114 minutes (1 hour, 54 minutes)
MPAA – R for pervasive crude and sexual content, strong language, drinking, some drug use, and a fantasy/comic violent image – all involving teens
DIRECTOR: Greg Mottola
WRITERS: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
PRODUCERS: Judd Apatow and Shauna Robertson
EDITOR: William Kerr


Starring: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen, Kevin Corrigan, Joe Lo Truglio, Martha MacIsaac, Emma Stone, Aviva, and Erica Vittina Phillips

Sex, drugs, and booze may not necessarily make you happy, but they can make for an incredibly funny movie… in the right hands.

When he isn’t writing and directing hit films like The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, Judd Apatow finds time to produce hits like Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby or the new film, Superbad. It’s the uproarious cautionary tale/coming-of-age story about two socially inept childhood pals. They are about to graduate from high school and go their own way when one panic-driven night reaffirms their super-close friendship.

Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are two codependent high school seniors. No, Seth and Evan have a ridiculously dependent relationship, but now, they’ll be forced to separate because they’ve both been accepted to different colleges. It seems as if the quiet, sweet, and smart Evan managed to get into Dartmouth, while volatile, foul-mouthed Seth didn’t. Combine this duo with their friend, the arrogant nerd, Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who also got into Dartmouth, and they form an unholy, horny trinity.

It’s three week before they graduate, and they want to hook up with girls before they go off to different colleges. Thanks to a fake I.D. card that Fogell has obtained, Seth promises Jules (Emma Stone), a girl he lusts after, that he can buy some alcohol for a party she is throwing. Evan makes the same promise to Becca (Martha MacIsaac), the girl he’s always secretly loved. However, after a calamitous night of trying to score booze for the party that involves a convenience store hold up, two crazy cops, and another thoroughly adult party, Seth and Evan find overcoming separation anxiety is a bigger obstacle than getting girls and alcohol.

Before Superbad reaches the ten-minute mark, it already has more coarse and crude language than most mainstream comedies or many R-rated comedies for that matter have in their entire runtime. In spite of the raunchy language and racy subject matter, Superbad rings with honesty. Many viewers will find that to some extent it resembles their own high school lives, especially if they were born after the 1950’s. Writers Seth Rogen (who also stars in the film) and Evan Goldberg are smart enough not to divide the school into jocks and losers. In real high school, even the nerds and geeks know the beautiful people, at least in passing. It’s not as if a “loser” can never get to say “Hi” to the popular people and athletes.

In Seth and Evan, Rogen and Goldberg have created genuine high school kids and genuine high school pals. From the moment the two first appear on screen together, there is a moment of recognition in the viewers who are really paying attention. Seth and Evan’s adventures may be over the top and even dangerous, but we can laugh. In their raunchy verbal jousting, we recognize that the two say what they do because they don’t know crap about sex. We’ve all been there. If we’ve never spoken the vileness that they do, we feel the truth in their friendship and the pain in their coming separation as they enter adulthood.

Now, the overall plot and the thin story don’t amount to much, but that isn’t important. The fine cast of comic actors hits the right notes, and that is what’s important. Superbad feels like the real thing – one the very best high school comedies ever. Superbad is supergood.

7 of 10


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Review: "The 40 Year-Old Virgin" is Still a Steve Carell Showcase

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 133 (of 2005) by Leroy Douresseaux

The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
Running time: 116 minutes (1 hour, 56 minutes)
MPAA – R for pervasive sexual content, language, and some drug use
DIRECTOR: Judd Apatow
WRITERS: Steve Carell and Judd Apatow
PRODUCERS: Shauna Robertson, Clayton Townsend, and Judd Apatow
EDITOR: Brent White


Starring: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Leslie Mann, Jane Lynch, Gerry Bednob, Shelley Malil, Kat Dennings, Erica Vittina Phillips, Cedric Yarbrough, David Koechner, Lee Weaver, Gloria Helena Jones, and Nancy Walls

Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) has never “done the deed,” or, to put it more plainly, Andy has never had sexual intercourse. That makes the avid toy collector, video gaming enthusiast, and comic book reader a 40 year-old virgin. When his co-workers: the three randy bastards, David (Paul Rudd), Jay (Romany Malco), and Cal (Seth Rogen), accidentally discover Andy’s situation, they immediately want to help him get his cherry popped.

After a series of misadventures, Andy is once again ready to accept that he will never have sexual intercourse, but fate brings him into contact with Trish (Catherine Keener), a single mother of three children and a grandmother of one. Andy and Trish become very close and decide to have a platonic relationship until they get to know each other. However, when the time finally arrives for them to get intimate, Andy is still having reservations…

The 40 Year-Old Virgin could have been nothing more than a shameless excuse to make a tawdry film aimed at teenagers and 20-somethings – full of bad jokes about virginity, loosing one’s virginity and having awkward first-time sex. Instead the film is only half that. Sure, there is plenty of gross humor and embarrassingly frank discussions of sexuality. In fact much of the sex talk is the kind of triple-blue tales guys tell each other when they’re not in polite company because together they aren’t polite company.

Romany Malco and Seth Rogen gamely lead the charge unleashing a barrage of X-rated storytelling that tops the wretched bragging that is a stable on B.E.T.’s “ComicView,” but Malco and Rogen are 10 times funnier. In fact, this is a breakthrough performance for Malco, who deft plays Jay as both comically and as a hypocrite. Both he and Rogen should have long film careers playing “the buddy” to a big name star’s turn as a struggling romantic. However, the third member of the support trio is limply played by Paul Rudd, but it’s not entirely his fault; the script gives him a few good scenes, and then leaves both him and the audience hanging for more of the obviously complicated David.

One thing that The 40 Year-Old Virgin’s screenplay (co-written by the director Judd Apatow and Steve Carell) has going for it is its sense of realness. There is a naturalness to the individual scenes that suggests the truth of real life. What the script lacks is a cohesive sense of honesty. Some things are true; others are just plot contrivances designed to make an outsider tale seem like normal Hollywood fare. In fact, since the writers chose to gloss over the supporting characters, they made the film too long by ten minutes. They could have given those 10 minutes to Catherine Keener so her character, Trish, wouldn’t only come across as a cardboard, sympathetic mother figure and cherry popper – a waste of a powerful actress for sure.

Ultimately, the main reason to see this film is Steve Carell; the seemingly humble actor (at least he comes across that way in interviews) has quietly delivered a number of roles, stunning in how good they are for their smallness, in films such as Bruce Almighty and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Here, he plays a 40 year-old virgin not as a pathetic figure, but a man to be pitied because he has so willingly bought into a life of loneliness. This is especially sad because he’s the proverbial quiet and shy guy who is really a good fellow, and would make a fine pal.

While The 40 Year-Old Virgin’s script is soft, the film’s actors build their roles into characters that the audience wants to like and finally do. Carell, more than anyone else in this film, builds a guy in Andy Stitzer who is so likeable that the audience accepts everything about him, including his many quirks and eccentricities. In the real world, a lot of people wouldn’t recognize or pay attention to a guy like Andy. Carell amazingly turns Andy into an ideal, a perfection of nerd, if you will; Andy is the kind of dork that you could love, root for, cheer, and go out of your way to help.

The 40 Year-Old Virgin has been compared to an earlier 2005 summer hit, Wedding Crashers, but the latter is funnier by far. However, both films make up for crassness with engaging tales of romantic entanglements. Virgin isn’t perfect, and Steve Carell’s performance is more memorable than the film, which in the end may be remembered as a star-making vehicle for him. Although that ending has got to go, the film is daring in so many ways. It’s one of the very few “mainstream” comedies that have almost as many African-American roles as the typical “urban comedy” (comedy with a lot of black characters), and an actress (Catherine Keener) who is older than the male lead (Carell) playing the love interest. That alone makes it a class act.

7 of 10

Saturday, August 20, 2005


Monday, January 17, 2011

Review: "Fun with Dick and Jane is Timely and Timeless" (Happy B'day, Jim Carrey)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 189 (of 2005) by Leroy Douresseaux

Fun with Dick and Jane (2005)
Running time: 90 minutes (1 hour, 40 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for brief language, some sexual humor, and occasional drug references
DIRECTOR: Dean Parisot
WRITERS: Judd Apatow, Nicholas Stoller, and Peter Tolan; from a story by Judd Apatow, Nicholas Stoller, and Gerald Gaiser (based upon the novel by Gerald Gaiser)
PRODUCERS: Jim Carrey and Brian Grazer
EDITOR: Don Zimmerman

COMEDY/CRIME with elements of historical

Starring: Jim Carrey, Téa Leoni, Alec Baldwin, Richard Jenkins, Gloria Garayua, John Michael Higgins, Jeff Garlin, and Angie Harmon

In Fun with Dick and Jane, an upper middle class couple finds themselves unemployed and broke, even though they always played by the rules to reach their American dream. Desperate, they finally turn to crime to pay the bills.

It’s America, circa 2000. Dick Harper (Jim Carrey) and his wife Jane (Téa Leoni) have a lovely son, Billy, a Latino housekeeper named Blanca (Gloria Garayua) to take care of him, and a fancy two-story home in a swanky neighborhood. After waiting 15 years for that big promotion, Dick becomes Vice-President of Communications at Globodyne, a media consolidation company. This new prestige position allows Jane to quit her horrible job at a travel agency and become a stay-at-home mom.

But the American Dream is about to become a nightmare. Globodyne goes belly up in an Enron-style meltdown, and Globodyne CEO Jack McCallister (Alec Baldwin) leaves his new VP of Communications holding the bag. After months of ceaseless job searching, Dick can’t find another company to give him an executive job. Eventually, because the bank is about to foreclose on his home, he has to take any job he can find, which includes working as a greeter at a giant box store, a Wal-Mart type place named KostMart. Jane even bluffs her way into a job as a Tae Bo instructor.

Neither is good at their new jobs, so Dick, at his wit’s end, suggests that he and Jane start pulling off nighttime robberies. The screwball Bonnie and Clyde eventually have a chance encounter with former Globodyne CFO Frank Bascom (Richard Jenkins), who tells Dick that Jack McCallister siphoned off 400 million dollars from the company before it collapsed. Dick, Jane, and Frank promptly launch a plot to steal Jack’s ill-gotten gains, just as he stole them from Globodyne.

Fun with Dick and Jane is a remake of a 1977 film starring George Segal and Jane Fonda as an upwardly mobile couple who find themselves unemployed and in debt and turn to armed robbery to alleviate their problems. While the original film took place in the post-Nixon malaise of the late mid-1970’s, the new film starring Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni takes place at the turn of the century when the communications and Internet boom of the go-go 90’s hit an awful Wall Street bump and many people found themselves unemployed, in deep debt with mortgage companies, credit card companies, and sometimes the IRS – not to mention having much of their savings and/or personal worth died up in worthless stocks.

The current version actually looks at the Dick and Jane Harper’s situation from two angles. The first is to view the Harper’s disintegration as a satirical comment on materialism. The audience can certainly sympathize with the couple, but at the same time, the Harpers are largely responsible for their situation. They mortgaged their future for an expensive car (a Mercedes), a big home in a “good” neighborhood (the kind where the residents play “keeping up with the Joneses”), and a house full of expensive trinkets, accessories, appliances, and toys, such as a plasma screen TV. Their fall is not only poignant, but it is also quite real. This isn’t some idealized financial fall; people who go deeply into debt for the American dream often fall so low as too literally have nothing – to go from being executives to working lower paying service jobs. In the hands of the capable Jim Carrey and the surprisingly nimble Téa Leoni, the kind of financial “hardship” is actually quite funny to watch.

The second angle or second half of this film is purely a comic caper. Fun with Dick and Jane becomes a screwball, revenge film in which the Harpers gleefully rob various businesses. They even rob an executive (who made fun of Dick) of cash and expensive home furnishings. When Dick plots his revenge against Jack McCallister, the film goes overboard in asking us to suspend disbelief. However, Carrey and company give us such madcap antics that we can forgive the script’s more ridiculous notions.

Director Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) juggles satire with slapstick and pratfalls. He makes an even smarter move by giving Jim Carrey all the space he needs to roam. Carrey is the ultimate class clown, but he is also the consummate actor. Some may not give him enough credit for all that he can do, but in Fun with Dick and Jane, there is both pathos and farce in his performance. Like many of his performances, here, he realizes both the comic horror and monotonous drama of life. He is droll one second, wickedly funny the next, and miserable just a few second after that.

Téa Leoni may never convince anyone that she is a great actress, but she is a superbly capable co-star. Few actors, either male or female, can keep up with Carrey. She does that and brings her character to meaningful life. Too often, actresses allow their characters to be loose appendages to the big male star’s role. Leoni doesn’t go for that, making us believe that this is Jane Harper’s story, too.

Also good in smaller roles are Alec Baldwin and Richard Jenkins. Baldwin does a tart turn as the consummate Southern-born and bred businessman who uses his employees like slaves and then steals their wages. Jenkins is like a gleeful child as Richard Bascom, making the most of his screen time.

I liked the screenplay’s good mix of social satire and ludicrous comedy, though I regret that the entire film couldn’t be a satire. As fun as the revenge portion was, Fun with Dick and Jane was on the way to being an outstanding and dead-on commentary on corporate greed and crass materialism. Still, I enjoyed watching Jim Carrey, Téa Leoni, and their supporting cast make chaotic and zany comedy out of the material they had.

7 of 10

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Friday, August 6, 2010

Review: "Talladega Nights" is a Ferrell-McKay Gem

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 167 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
Running time: 105 minutes (1 hour, 45 minutes:
MPAA – PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, drug references, and brief comic violence
WRITERS: Will Ferrell and Adam McKay
PRODUCERS: Jimmy Miller and Judd Apatow
EDITOR: Brent White


Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen, Gary Cole, Michael Clarke Duncan, Leslie Bibb, Jane Lynch, Houston Tumlin, Grayson Russell, Amy Adams, Greg Germann, Molly Shannon, Andy Richter, David Koechner, and Pat Hingle with Elvis Costello, Mos Def, Darrell Waltrip, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

In 2004, co-writer/director Adam McKay and co-writer/star Will Ferrell gave us Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, about a dense, arrogant, but very popular local news anchor. This month the same duo gives us Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, about a dense, arrogant, but very popular and successful NASCAR race driver. This time Ferrell and McCay have refined their process, and while Ricky Bobby is every bit as funny as Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights simply works better as a film. Talladega Nights is funny, but it’s more than just a joke fest. It has an insane comic premise, but with heart, and the cast makes the characters believable as Ricky Bobby’s family, friends, and rivals

Talladega Nights tells the story of the rise of Ricky Bobby, from a 10-year old boy (Luke Bigham) abandoned by his father, Reese Bobby (Gary Cole), to a win-at-all-cost stock car driver. At the peak of his success, Bobby has a loyal racing partner in his childhood friend, Cal Naughton, Jr. (John C. Reilly), and a veteran racing crew chief in Lucius Washington (Michael Clarke Duncan). He has a “red-hot” wife, Carley Bobby (Leslie Bibb) and two sons, Walker (Houston Tumlin) and Texas Ranger (Grayson Russell). However, Larry Dennit, Jr. (Greg Germann), the owner of the racing team to which Ricky Bobby belongs adds a pompous and conceited French Formula One racer named Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen) to the Dennit racing team, and Girard is gunning for Ricky Bobby. Soon, Ricky Bobby’s career crashes and burns, but with the help of his negligent and immature dad and his loving mom, Lucy Bobby (Jane Lynch), Ricky Bobby might just return to the front of the pack.

Ricky Bobby could have been some paper-thin character Will Ferrell created during his tenure on “Saturday Night Live,” but he gives the characters such depth. He’s not a caricature – this arrogant dim-wit who makes you laugh – he has humanity. In fact, the Ricky Bobby of the movie is much deeper, a much richer character than what the advertisements for Talladega Nights suggests. That’s a testament to Ferrell’s skill as a great comic actor, with an emphasis on actor. However, while Ricky Bobby is a wonderful character, having an outstanding supporting cast of characters makes Ricky Bobby even better.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is impeccably cast and performed in terms of supporting players. The actors embody their roles, such as John C. Reilly’s Cal Naughton, Jr., Gary Cole’s Reese Bobby, and Jane Lynch’s Lucy Bobby. The caricatures also work to comic perfection, including Leslie Bibb as Ricky Bobby’s wife, Carley, and Sacha Baron Cohen (“Ali G”) as Ricky Bobby’s rival, Jean Girard. Carley is the perfect send-up as the greedy, camera-hogging, ambitious celebrity wife, and Girard gives the movie a flavor of the bizarre. Michael Clarke Duncan’s Lucius Washington is the steadying center and the fatherly guide to the wacky and childish racing team, and he creates a balance between the farce and satire with the characters on one hand, and the seriousness with which the film has to take NASCAR racing on the other.

Although Talladega Nights pokes fun as NASCAR and its brawny emphasis on and robust relationship with its advertising sponsors, the film doesn’t make fun of NASCAR, its culture, or fans. The brilliance of McKay and Ferrell’s screenplay is that it is a memorable comic creation filled with the kind of eccentric and harebrained characters that make a comedy actually funny. However, they also give the comedy dramatic tension and conflict, and the characters have convincing motivation. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is a farce, a comic romp, and a dramatic narrative, and not just a bag of jokes and sketch comedy scenes. But it was up to the cast to make this nice scenario work, and they certainly worked it.

8 of 10

Saturday, August 5, 2006


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Review: "Anchorman" is Odd and Funny

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 121 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux 
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Running time: 94 minutes (1 hour, 34 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for sexual humor, language and comic violence DIRECTOR: Adam McKay WRITERS: Will Ferrell and Adam McKay PRODUCER: Judd Apatow CINEMATOGRAPHER: Thomas Ackerman (D.o.P.) EDITOR: Brent White
Starring: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steven Carell, David Koechner, Fred Willard, Chris Parnell, Kathryn Hahn, Luke Wilson, Bill Kurtis, Monique McIntyre, and Danny Trejo with uncredited screen appearances by Jack Black, Missi Pyle, Tim Robbins, Stephen Root, Ben Stiller, and Vince Vaughn
Will the actor/comedian Will Ferrell make a nice, long run of being a comedic leading man? He has a few hits behind him, and even if he ever falters as the star, he’s funny enough to lift quite a few movies to that next level by playing funny and crucial supporting roles.
In Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, a film in which he co-wrote, Ferrell is Ron Burgundy. In 1970’s San Diego, he rules the city as the most popular anchorman of the most popular local TV news broadcast. He’s a legend, mostly in his own mind, and he’s God’s gift to women – if only they knew that he isn’t much of a journalist and his news skills rely heavily on a TelePrompTer.
Burgundy is also the captain of his station’s news team, a fellow cast of cads that includes a lecherous beat reporter named Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), a mentally challenged weatherman, and Champ Kind (David Koechner), a chauvinist, dude cowboy sports reporter. All is well in their world of ladies and parties until Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), an ambitious female with her eye on being a network anchorwoman, arrives to rock their world. For Ron, it’s love at first sight, but all goes bad when Veronica becomes his partner both personally and professionally.
Anchorman is quite silly and filled with lots of belly laughs, but it also has a surprising number of satirical and sardonic moments. The humor recalls the mocking antics of Mel Brooks 70’s classics like Blazing Saddles, but the humor here is often deadpan and blunt. It’s also self-mockingly serious and also flat out hilarious. Too bad, the story is soft and the script is mostly a blueprint for jokes, gags, and general silliness.
Will Ferrell is his usual funny self, but the Burgundy character is a bit odd and off-putting. It’s not one of Ferrell’s more endearing characters, but he has a knack of making the most annoying characters very funny, even when they’re under your skin. The supporting cast is quite nice. Fred Willard embodies 70’s kitsch, and the three actors that make up Burgundy’s crew are fantastic, especially Carell and Koechner who play their parts with a frightening, scene stealing relish. Ms. Applegate’s performance is a bit odd; she plays Veronica in a never where between cardboard character dumb blonde and sly vixen, but with the gumption to make her character surprise us at every turn.
Anchorman will likely stand out as one of the year’s funniest comedies, but in the long run, it may be remembered as an oddity, perhaps a forgotten oddity. But I’m hoping it hangs around, even with some kind of cult status.
7 of 10