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'Pacific Rim' -- Finally! A Trailer That Kicks Some Monster Ass

If you follow this site, you know I've expressed quite a bit of skepticism about Guillermo del Toro's upcoming giant-robots-and-monsters movie, Pacific Rim. But that was before I saw this trailer that was unveiled at Wondercon in Las Vegas earlier this month. more »

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'The Bling Ring' − The Top 5 Lines Of Dialogue That Could Make It The Most Quoted Movie Of The Summer

A new trailer for Sofia Coppola's pulled-from-the-headlines film, The Bling Ring, is out, and there's a lot to pick over.  For one thing, Emma Watson is riveting as Nicki, one of the spoiled, cynical and morally adrift Los Angeles teens who made news robbing celebrities' homes. As J.J. Hunsecker from Sweet Smell of Success would say, she's a cookie full of arsenic. more »

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WATCH: Repetitive Trailer For 'The Internship' Could Double As Google HR Training Video

To paraphrase the Who's classic song "Won't Get Fooled Again" :  See the new trailer/Same as the old trailer.  Seriously, there's not a whole lot different in the second official trailer to be released for the Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson buddy comedy The Internship.  We get the same fisting joke, the same Flashdance riff, scenes of a smarmy Max Minghella being an ageist dick, and, oh wait, here's something that's different:  more »

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WATCH: 'Elysium' Trailer − Matt Damon's HULC Suit Vs. Lockheed-Martin's

The new trailer for Neill Blomkamp's Elysium features some interesting contraptions, as you might expect from a science-fiction movie set 150 years into the future. And at least one of them is very plausible. more »

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Twilight Of 'The Host': A Sequel Is Not Likely

Has The Host already entered its twilight as a potential film franchise? Stephenie Meyer has said she envisions her sci-fi follow-up to the blockbuster Twilight novel franchise, as a three-novel story arc, but the probability of those future books translating into a movie trilogy is looking iffy at best. more »

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WATCH: 'The Great Gatsby' Trailer: There Will Be Screaming

A new trailer for  The Great Gatsby has hit the web. Let's see if it has all the ingredients of a Baz Luhrmman joint:  Hot, youthful actors with well-defined jaws?  Check. Eye-popping colors? Check. Settings suitable for an Architectural Digest cover story, even when they depict abject poverty?  Check. Iconic period-piece story juxtaposed with hot-right-now soundtrack?  Check. Multiple scenes of operatic emotional outbursts? CHECK! more »

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'American Psycho' Parody -- Huey Lewis Kills In Funny Or Die Bit

Until today, I associated Huey Lewis' name with two thoughts:  1) He was the musical artist behind some of the most annoying pop hits of the 1980s; and 2) he showed his penis in Robert Altman's 1993 film Short Cuts.  But now that I've seen him in this Funny or Die American Psycho parody clip, I'm seriously considering forgiving him for giving me a decade-long headache and adding him to my list of secret geniuses.

The clip is a real mind-fuck: it's satirizes a scene that satirized Lewis' music in a movie that satirized 1980s commercialism and greed, and it also stars master parodist (and longtime secret genius) Weird Al Yankovic in the victim role originally played by Jared Leto. (I've included it below for the sake of comparison.) How's that for meta?

Lewis' aping of Christian Bale's performance, while the original scene plays on a TV right next to him, is particularly impressive, and I love Yankovic's crack about the newspapers covering the floor. And the coup de gras is that the clip is used to promote the back catalogs of both artists.  The Funny or Die clip features "I Want A New Drug," off Lewis' most successful album, Sports, which turns 30 in September. That single spawned Yankovic's "I Want A New Duck," which was not one of his best, and, well, let's just say he pays for his sins.  I swear, you could build an New York University Tisch School of the Arts class around deconstructing this clip.

The other secret genius involved in this enterprise: Funny or Die director/editor PatB, who also did the very funny "Oscar's Best Handjob Award" video, which I've posted at the bottom. I hope there's a feature in this guy's future.

WATCH: Huey Lewis Kills In American Psycho Parody

WATCH: American Psycho: The Original

Pat B: Oscar's Best Handjob

[Funny or Die]

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'This Is The End' Red Band Trailer: The 20 Funniest Moments

With three laugh-out-loud trailers in circulation, This Is The End is looking like the comedy of the summer. At the very least, it's going to make the phrase "titty fucking" extremely popular. And if it doesn't live up to the hype? We'll always have this latest red band clip, which is such a laugh riot that I've taken the opportunity to list the 20 funniest moments, in ascending order.  more »

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'Iron Man 3': Is The Mandarin An Extremist Fringe Republican?

A recent production still from Iron Man 3 shows that movie's presumed main villain, the Mandarin, in a kind of evil Stevie Nicks "Stand Back" pose with what appears to be a translucent cape or tapestry draped from him.  And right now, I'm obsessed with the text that's on it. more »

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WATCH: The Mandarin Isn't Talking Funny Anymore

There's yet another Iron Man 3 TV spot making the rounds, and, like the international TV spot I wrote about on Monday, it leaves the distinct impression that Ben Kingsley has dialed back the affected voice he was using in his portrayal of the Mandarin. more »

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New 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Photos: To Boldly Go Where Every Man Has A Thousand-Yard Stare

Paramount has released two new Star Trek Into Darkness photos that don't reveal anything about the plot or the true identity of Benedict Cumberbatch's character, but they do underscore the tone that previous stills have established. In other words, set your phasers for intensity!   more »

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'Iron Man 3' Director Spills On The Mandarin & He Sounds Like....Mike Ovitz?

If, like me, you've been spending way too much time puzzling over the international villain of mystery known as The Mandarin, I have some clues and an out-there theory. I'll give you the information first. more »

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Words & Nerds: Ranking the Writing Careers of the ‘Freaks and Geeks’ Cast Members

One of the more curious things about The Incredible Burt Wonderstone – aside from Steve Buscemi's ability to pass himself off as a member of the band Nelson –  is that it was co-written by onetime Freaks and Geeks actor John Francis Daley, who played Sam Weir on the obsessively loved high-school drama.  It's Daley's second feature-film screenplay — Horrible Bosses was his first — and cements his membership in the exclusive after-school club of former F&G cast members who write as well as act.

'Freaks and Geeks' Cast Now: Hollywood Stardom
Freaks and Geeks is one of those crazy Hollywood tales: a show that didn’t last a full season, yet launched all of its cast members into stardom, or at least Hey-It's-That-Guy recognizability.

Conventional wisdom credits their success to F&G creator, Judd Apatow, and his eagle eye for spotting young talent. But that interpretation neglects the essential piece of advice that two of Daley's fellow writing-club members, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segel,  say made their careers: Apatow’s encouragement to “start writing [their] own material” instead of waiting around for the right script or opportunity to magically appear.

The actors who followed Apatow's advice have distinguished themselves in the movies, while the ones who didn’t have seen their careers limited to television. Then again, not all screenwriters are created equal. Below, a ranking of fictional McKinley High's writing alumni. Read on to see who has been Apatow’s star pupil and who should be held back:

1. Jason Segel (Nick “29-Piece Drum Kit” Andopolis) – Though he’s not the biggest success story to come out of McKinley, Segel is Apatow’s best student by far. He found his way to stardom (and some mild notoriety) by writing scripts with characters based on himself – then truly bared all by exposing his lots-to-love body to the camera. (Apatow’s current protégé, Lena Duham, appears to be following the trail Segel blazed.)Although  Segel’s nominal day job is playing fourth banana on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, he’s earned plenty of extra credit by spending his summers building a mini film empire, writing or co-writing five films – Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Muppets, Get Him to the Greek, The Five-Year Engagement, and the upcoming Undercover Cop – in as many years. The schlubby star’s prolificacy is impressive enough, but it’s the skill with which he’s written and played variations on his TV personae from F&G and Mother – the human teddy bear with a barely suppressed psychotic neediness – that earns him such high grades.

James Franco (Daniel “Carlos the Dwarf” Desario) – As the only one of the Freaks to enjoy an Oscar nomination and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, James Franco is the Johnny Depp of the Freaks gang – a decent thespian whose ridiculous hotness launched him into a film career buttressed by family-friendly, eye-straining tentpoles that adapt classic literature without understanding what made them classic. Although most of Franco's screenwriting credits have not been seen by large audiences, he's got quite a few projects in the hopper, including an adaptation of William Faulkner's revered 1930 novel,  As I Lay Dying. Meanwhile, Franco hasn't limited himself to writing for film. Lately, he has put his scattered thoughts on paper as a short-story writer, a poet, and a celebrity blogger, leading Time Magazine to call him, with utmost seriousness, “the 21st century’s first great public intellectual.” Being compared to Susan Sontag, Calvin Trilling, and Christopher Hitchens for collecting diplomas and teaching a course called “Editing James Franco… with James Franco” might embarrass some people. Unfortunately, such pyrrhic recognition only expands the one role Franco doesn’t play with distracted boredom nowadays, that of an actor with a fatal case of pretention-itis.

Seth Rogen (Ken “I Love Tuba Girl” Miller) – Quentin Tarantino had Uma Thurman, Sam Raimi had Bruce Campbell, and, for a brief spell in the late 2000s, Judd Apatow had Seth Rogen. Though he was often a peripheral Freak, Rogen became Apatow’s golden boy, if not his muse, after the show went off the air. In fact, Apatow was so generous to the young comedian, giving him starring roles in Knocked Up and Funny People, as well as a key supporting role in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, that Rogen didn’t need to write any scripts for himself – and perhaps he shouldn’t have. The frog-throated wisecracker is such a talented improv he single-handedly made last year’s The Guilt Trip bearable, but off-the-cuff jokes don’t necessarily translate well into screenplays with three-act structures and compelling character development. Rogen's co-written scripts for Superbad, Drillbit Taylor, Pineapple Express, The Green Hornet, The Watch feel like badly copied facsimiles of Apatow’s lesser work.

John Francis Daley (Sam “Parisian Nightsuit” Weir) – The only one of the Geeks to try his hand at writing is John Francis Daley, who, like Segel, finds enough time between takes on his network show, Bones, to put together movie scripts. After tackling an episode of his Fox procedural, Daley and his writing partner Jonathan Goldstein have been on a script-selling tear. In addition to Horrible Bosses and Burt Wonderstone, they wrote the upcoming Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and a new Vacation installment. If the former child star wants to retire from staring into David Boreanaz’s dead, dark eyes every week to a job behind the camera, he’s certainly preparing a cushy landing for himself. But if he’s not going to write himself into his scripts, he should at least take a page out of the Apatow handbook and write something more personal than the second and sixth installments of already tired franchises.

By taking Apatow’s advice, Segel (and Dunham) have guaranteed themselves acting jobs for at least the next few years. And more SAG members aren't following suit is a mystery. Sure, actors are busy doing Pilates three hours a day, and not everyone’s a great writer – but that’s what script doctors are for. Besides, given that an actors careers basically comes down to creating and managing their screen personas, it’s surprising that more of them don't work more actively to manage their own brands, so to speak. Hey, it worked for Matt and Ben.

Inkoo Kang is a film critic and investigative journalist in Boston. She has been published in Indiewire, Boxoffice Magazine, Yahoo! Movies, Pop Matters, Screen Junkies, and MuckRock. Her great dream in life is to direct a remake of All About Eve with an all-dog cast.

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George Lucas Says Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher & Harrison Ford Signed For 'Episode VII'

It sure looks like Star Wars creator, George Lucas, dropped a bombshell in a fascinating Bloomberg Businessweek feature on how Disney acquired Lucasfilm late last year. When the article's author, Devin Leonard, asked Lucas if the original Star Wars cast will appear in the J.J. Abrams-directed Episode VII, the Force Father replied: more »

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Light of Day: 'The Canyons' Could Save Lindsay Lohan's Career

I come to praise Lindsay Lohan, not to bury her.  Yes, you read that right. Just a few months ago, I had declared the 26-year-old actress a lost cause who had swapped a promising career for a rap sheet. And then Paul Schrader let me see The Canyonsmore »