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 »
Finally, an April Fool's joke that actually sells something. This clips starts out like a half-assed so-bad-it's-good sequel to Pineapple Express with Seth Rogen, James Franco and Danny McBride and eventually reveals itself to be a clip within a clip to one of the most hotly anticipated movies of the summer: The funny actor apocalypse movie, This Is The End.
It's Thursday and Oz The Great and Powerful has topped $300 million worldwide at box office, according to Deadline. So, the Franco File is going to celebrate with a clip of what is arguably the best part of the movie: the black-and-white pre-CGI opening credits sequence. more »
Look at this shit! It's Wednesday afternoon, and time for The Franco File, Movieline's daily — at least for this week — coverage of James Franco's genre- and gender-bending multimedia artistry. On Monday, I brought you, "Hangin'With Da Dopeboys," the JF-directed video from Florida rapper Dangeruss, who inspired the actor's Alien character in Spring Breakers. On Tuesday, it was time for another Franco-helmed clip for his band Daddy. And today? Another clip! But this one's more of a rap video, in which Franco does a turn-off-your-cellphones PSA for the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX that riffs on one of Alien's Spring Breakers monologues and references key moments from Pulp Fiction and Spider-Man. The video has like three endings, too, which is part of Franco's I'm-flying-on-instruments genius. more »
It's Tuesday afternoon, time to figure out what James Franco has done today to merit our attention. Well, lookie here: The Spring Breakers star has donned lipstick, eye shadow and a Rolling Rock cap to promote the release of the music video for "Love in the Old Days (Ted James 1999 Mix)" by his band with fellow Rhode Island School of Design alumnus Tim O'Keefe. Better yet, Franco directed the clip and cast one of his underground idols, Scorpio Rising filmmaker and Hollywood Babylon author Kenneth Anger as a theremin-playing occult priest. Yeah, it's that kind of freaky. more »
Dangeruss Liaison: Jame Franco Directs Music Video For Rapper Who Inspired Alien In 'Spring Breakers'
It's only Monday and James Franco is already having a good week. And that could translate to a good week for Florida rapper Dangeruss, too. Despite Franco's much-maligned performance in Oz The Great and Powerful, the movie was the top performer at the box office this past weekend, earning $42.2 million domestically, and the blogosphere is already championing him for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work as the drug dealer Alien in Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers. Meanwhile, that picture, which opens wide this weekend, racked up the best per-screen average of the year so far — $90,000 — in limited release at three theaters. more »
Harmony Korine is passionate about making films his way. "I just want to be the greatest of all time — the greatest that ever did it," said Spring Breakers director, who described his latest work as "beach noir."
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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If James Franco reads his reviews, he should avoid David Edelstein's critique of Oz The Great and Powerful at Vulture.com. "Franco is unconvincing generally, tamping down the passion, ironicizing everything out," wrote Edelstein. "It’s possible Franco’s modern-sounding stammers and shrugs opposite actors playing it straight are meant in the spirit of Bob Hope’s hipster cowards — or those of Woody Allen, who cited Hope among his inspirations for Sleeper and Love and Death. But Franco doesn’t have the comebacks. He’s playing a noncommittal character in a noncommittal way, so that you want to scream, “This isn’t a performance-art project! You’re carrying a movie!” more »
Consciously evoking the structure and iconography of MGM’s classic The Wizard of Oz without attempting to rival its impact, Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful can be enjoyed, up to a point, on its own colorful, diverting but finally rather futile terms. Offering an eye-tickling but gaudily depersonalized Land of Oz populated by younger, sexier versions of well-known characters (most incongruously the Wicked Witch of the West), this elaborate exercise in visual Baum-bast nonetheless gets some mileage out of its game performances, luscious production design and the unfettered enthusiasm director Sam Raimi brings to a thin, simplistic origin story. more »
Yes, this clip of Glinda The Good Witch (Michelle Williams) and a pre-wizard Oz (James Franco) traveling to the Emerald City by bubble in the Sam Raimi-directed Oz the Great and Powerful is pretty phantasmagorical, but let's give credit where credit is due: Do you, um, realize that Flaming Lips' frontman Wayne Coyne has been traveling by bubble since at least 2006 — and he don't need no stinkin' computer-generated assistance. more »
It's Feb. 14, when men and women across this land bend over and submit to that cruel Hallmark dominatrix known as Valentine's Day — enduring exorbitantly priced flowers, overbooked restaurants and unreasonable expectations for the sake of love and romance. And that means it's the perfect time to check out what filmmaker Christina Voros has to say about human bondage. Voros is the director of Kink, a documentary produced by longtime collaborator James Franco that takes a mesmerizing behind-the-scenes look at Kink.com, the San Francisco-based company that operates a number of websites devoted to BDSM porn. (That stands for "Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism" if you haven't read Fifty Shades of Grey.) more »
Proving that a movie shot over a day and a half can premiere at Sundance if it has James Franco's name attached, Interior. Leather Bar. is an infuriating stunt that misrepresents itself as Franco and co-director Travis Mathews' reimagining of the 40 minutes William Friedkin claims he was forced to cut from Cruising to get an R rating. Yet it would seem "James Franco's 40 Minutes" don't exist either, leaving only this hastily tossed-off companion piece, a partly authentic, partly scripted behind-the-scenes featurette that never quite conveys the star's "high/curious" interest in all things taboo. After Sundance and Berlin, relative obscurity awaits. more »
The Spring Breakers trailer has FINALLY arrived, and it's even more packed with girls and guns and bikinis and James Franco's grimy braided hot mess than I'd ever dreamed. Also, the words "Spring Break" are spoken so many times in these two minutes of mayhem (I count 11 feverish utterances) that it's seeping into my subconscious. Watch and whet your whistle for the March 22 opener after the jump and start working on your Franco-as-Alien Halloween costumes now.
With all the fancy 'staches and old-school automobiles, this second trailer for Ariel Vroman's The Iceman reminds me of The Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" video, with a lot of cold-blooded killing substituted for 1970s TV crime drama parody. more »