Trailer time: “Operation Endgame”

Like I said, it’s been a slow day for movie news, give or take Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio perhaps someday maybe if they really feel like it getting together a movie which sounds like it might be okay. Indeed, what appears to be today’s most circulated trailer is for a straight to video film with what everyone agrees is a really terrible title.

Still, it’s not just any straight to video movie with a wonderfully weird cast that includes Rob Corddry, Ellen Barkin, Zach Galifianakis, Emilie de Ravin, Maggie Q, Beth Grant, Bob Oedenkirk, Michael Hitchcock, Ving Rhames, and Jeffrey Tambor. It’s also not just any straight to video movie that has a trailer that makes me laugh as many times as this spy-action-black comedy-thriller does.

A word of warning for those of you at work or near kiddies, this Red Band is no joke. It contains in, the wise words of Pajiba, “a fuckload of swearing.”

And, for those of you who’d prefer a f*ckload of excised curse words instead, here’s the green band trailer via HuffPo, which feels a bit more violent to me for some reason. It’s also a who lot less funny without the curse words, which may be one of the film’s commercial problems.

  

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What Elsa Ya Got? “The Invention of Lying”

For a movie that didn’t exactly perform well at the box office, Warner Bros. has put together a pretty strong collection of extras for the Blu-ray release of “The Invention of Lying.” You’ll get all of the same material on the DVD version, though, so unless you care about the added incentive of a digital copy, you might be better off just saving a few bucks on what isn’t exactly a must-own film.

Prequel: The Dawn of Lying

Originally conceived as a pre-credits sequence, this alternate opening details evidence of the very first lie in history. Narrated by Patrick Stewart and starring the film’s principal cast as their prehistoric counterparts (including Ricky Gervais, Rob Lowe and Jeffrey Tambor), the scene is mildly entertaining, but was rightfully cut during post-production. It might sound great on paper, but it just doesn’t work tonally.

Meet Karl Pilkington

Anyone who’s ever listened to the Ricky Gervais podcasts is already familiar with his friend/punching bag, Karl Pilkington. This 18-minute video diary documents Pilkington’s trip from England to Boston to serve as an extra on the film. It’s not exactly the most economical thing to do, but if nothing else, it proves just how far Gervais is willing to go for his own personal amusement. The fact that Pilkington’s scene just so happens to be the one that was cut (see above) only makes the investment seem that much more senseless. Hey, at least they got a funny extra out of it.

A Truly ‘Honest’ Making of Featurette

It’s not quite as advertised, but this short 7-minute featurette does offer interviews with the cast and crew about working on the film, as well as a few exclusive outtakes and a behind-the-scenes look at the many variations of Gervais’ infectious laugh.

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Greetings to the New Show: “Archer”

archer

FX’s new comedy series, “Archer,” has a decidedly Adult Swim feel to it, and that isn’t at all coincidental. Created by Adam Reed (“Space Ghost Coast to Coast,” “Sealab 2021” and “Frisky Dingo”), “Archer” is everything you’d expect in an Adult Swim series – from its crude animation style to its adult-themed humor. Still, it might be a little too refined for Cartoon Network’s late night line-up, which is why it works so perfectly on a channel like FX. Though the basic cable network has succeeded in making several first-rate dramas over the years, they’ve yet to crack the comedy nut beyond “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” They may have finally found a worthy pairing in “The League,” but if FX hopes to create a Thursday night comedy block to compete with the big boys, “Archer” is exactly what they need.

Set at the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS), a spy agency where espionage and global crises are merely opportunities for its highly trained employees to confuse, undermine, betray and royally screw each other, the series stars H. Jon Benjamin as Sterling Archer, a 007 wannabe who craves the perks of the job without doing any of the work. Joining Archer at the ISIS office is his domineering mother and boss, Malory (Jessica Walter); ex-girlfriend and fellow field agent Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler); head accountant Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnell); lovesick secretary Cheryl (Judy Greer); and human resources director Pam (Amber Nash).

It’s a great cast for an animated series, but despite all the recognizable names, it’s relative unknown H. Jon Benjamin who steals the show. Anyone who’s ever watched cult classics like “Dr. Katz” and “Home Movies” are probably already familiar with Benjamin’s trademark voice, but he’s an absolute riot in “Archer” and the main reason the show works as well as it does. In fact, while I had already seen the pilot episode months before during its top secret preview on FX, it didn’t stop me from watching it again. It’s easily the strongest of the first five episodes, although “Training Day,” where Archer trains Cyril to become a field agent, and “Diversity Hire,” where Malory hires a black-Jewish agent to fill a minority quota, are good as well. There’s also an “Arrested Development” mini-reunion when Jeffrey Tambor guest stars as an U.N. intelligence officer in “Killing Utne.”

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Entourage 6.5 – Fore!

There are good filler episodes, and then there are bad filler episodes. Last week definitely fell into the former category, and although I assumed that this week’s show would belong to the latter, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. There wasn’t a whole lot going on tonight with everyone involved in the charity golf tournament in some form, but it was the hardest I’ve laughed at an episode of “Entourage” in quite awhile.

Since there was only a little bit of actual plot development this time around, let’s get that out of the way first. Eric may be the only character this season who’s actually getting a proper story arc, but it’s been entertaining thus far. Now that he’s dating Ashley, Eric is a little weirded out about seeing Sloan at the tournament, but when she informs him that he’s been paired with Hollywood bigwig Maury Barrinson at his request, Eric’s interest is perked. As it turns out, Maury is actually scouting Eric to come work for his company, and though it sounds like a promising opportunity, he turns it down when he learns that it was Sloan’s idea. For some reason, Eric believes that he’s being treated like a charity case, and while I understand where he’s coming from, he should know by the now that she’s only doing it as a friend. Unfortunately, Eric still sees her as an ex-girlfriend, which only means one thing: these two are going to get back together real soon. Sorry Ashley, but this was never a battle you were going to win.

Meanwhile, Vince and Drama are paired up with Mark Wahlberg and Tom Brady, and Wahlberg is having a field day teasing Drama about his surprisingly high handicap. Drama, looking for a little retribution, suggests a friendly little bet between them, only to slice his first drive into the trees. Drama’s day doesn’t get any better from there, either, and he eventually breaks Brady’s driver (which the Super Bowl MVP had just let him borrow) in a fit of rage. You’d think Turtle would be crying in joy after declaring his hatred for Brady (he even plans to tell the Patriots quarterback that he sucks balls, much to the behest of Jamie-Lynn), but that was before Brady invited Turtle over to his house to have dinner with Giselle. You can call him a sellout if you like, but you know you’d do the exact same thing.

By far the funniest pairing of the night, however, was Ari and Jeffrey Tambor – and for once, it wasn’t because of Jeremy Piven. Tambor was absolutely hilarious in his second guest spot to date as he cheated every chance he got in an attempt to impress his kids. Just watching him cut up the green was funny – especially while Ari was busy stressing out about his wife’s unhappy reaction to him keeping knowledge of Andrew’s affair from her. Of course, there’s no way this argument is over yet, despite Ari buying her a brand new Maserati. Still, for as much as Piven has proven the show’s savior these last few weeks, Tambor single-handedly stole the show in his response to his kids’ explicit-laced complaints about being bored: “Hey, this is a family day. So shut the fuck up and hit the ball.”

  

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Well, it’s about freaking time…

After months of pissing everyone off by telling reporters that he either wasn’t interested in reprising his role of George Michael Bluth or couldn’t be bothered to sign onto an “Arrested Development” movie until he’d read the script, it looks like Michael Cera has finally caved in.

According to Kristin Dos Santos over at E! Online

Inside sources close to the negotiations of the upcoming Arrested Development movie tell me that Superbad and Juno star (and before that, hello, George-Michael Bluth!) Michael Cera has finally agreed to do the feature film project. Cera had been the lone holdout among the show’s stars for several weeks. All other Bluths, including Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Jessica Walter, Jeffrey Tambor and David Cross, are already game, according to sources.

I think we all knew this was only inevitable. Either Cera was going to sign, or Mitchell Hurwitz – who’s reportedly in the midst of writing the script – would made George Michael the brunt of more jokes than…well, George Michael.

  

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