Tag Archives: Rob Corddry

Review: Pain & Gain

Pain-and-Gain-PosterIt’s a moderately funny, largely deplorable narrative with entirely unlikable leads, but thanks to “Pain & Gain’s” true roots, it gets away with it.

Danny Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) loves his job as a personal trainer and is practically singlehandedly responsible for turning Sun Gym into one of the hottest spots in town. Trouble is, the job still doesn’t pay well enough and Danny is desperate to start living the good life. In an effort to make the big bucks quick and easy, Danny recruits his co-worker, Adrian (Anthony Mackie), and an ex-con, Paul (Dwayne Johnson), to help him kidnap his über wealthy client, Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub), and torture him into signing over all this finances.

Had “Pain & Gain” not stemmed from true source material, we’d be left with an absolutely outrageous film driven by wholly detestable protagonists and nothing more. However, not only does the true story come with intrinsic intrigue, but then Michael Bay takes it two very effective steps further to ensure you never forget it. At the onset we’re informed, “Unfortunately, this is a true story,” and then, when the absurdity of the scenario hits a peek, he reminds you, “This is still a true story,” forbidding you from writing off all the abysmal behavior and enticing you to actually appreciate it.

Click here to read more.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Why ‘Warm Bodies’ Is a Fresh Spin on Rotting Corpses

R-and-JulieAre you thinking Warm Bodies is Twilight with zombies? Or how about Twilight meets Shaun of the Dead? Let’s nix both concepts right away because that most certainly is not the case. And that assessment isn’t just coming from someone who’s a big-time fan of the book and truly believes it’s the fresh young adult supernatural romance we’ve been waiting for; it’s also coming straight from the Warm Bodies director, Jonathan Levine, and his cast.

While hanging out in a dilapidated waiting room on the Warm Bodies set at the Montréal-Mirabel International Airport, Levine laughs and notes, “I’ve read some things on the Internet that say it’s Twilight meets Shaun of the Dead, which, to me, sounds like the worst f***ing movie I’ve ever heard.” And remember that all-too-familiar-looking first promotional image of Teresa Palmer’s human character, Julie, cozying up to Nicholas Hoult’s zombie, R? Palmer actually doesn’t quash the connection to Twilight, but rather embraces it. “Look, I have to say, it’s very flattering that people are comparing our film to Twilight.” She adds, “If we have even half the level of success of that movie, I think we’d all be very happy, but having said that, it’s such a different film. It’s almost a little darker, a little edgier. I understand that there’s a relationship between the mortal and the immortal, but apart from that, that’s where the comparisons really should end because it is its own different story.”

The story comes from the mind of author Isaac Marion, and rather than tell the tale from the perspective of zombie-apocalypse survivors, Marion’s protagonist is a member of the living dead. R behaves like a zombie – eating flesh, grunting and lumbering around – but deep down, a piece of his human self lives and, thanks to the spark that ignites between R and Julie, that piece starts to grow.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features, Interviews

Review: Warm Bodies

Warm-Bodies-PosterThe key to restarting a zombie’s heart is a pretty girl. The key to making a big screen supernatural/human relationship work is lightening up.

We’re in the midst of a zombie apocalypse and R (Nicholas Hoult) is amongst the living dead. He calls a defunct airport home and spends his days lumbering around, occasionally bumping into or grunting at his zombie cohorts until they’re hungry enough to venture into the big city for some eats. While R does find something tasty to gnaw on, he also encounters some unexpected eye candy – Julie (Teresa Palmer). Rather than make Julie the next item on his menu, R vows to keep her safe, shielding her from his flesh-eating buddies and escorting her to the airport.

A vampire/human romance is one thing, but a zombie/human relationship is an especially tough sell. The “Warm Bodies” book takes itself very seriously but, thanks to effective narration, quality character development and the power of a reader’s imagination, it’s easy to get on board. With the audience’s imagination no longer in play with the big screen version, presenting “Warm Bodies” in a dark, dramatic fashion would have made it nearly impossible to convey the story in a believable manner. However, Jonathan Levine manages to adapt the source material in the best possible way, keeping key plot points and character details intact, but infusing the tale with an unexpected yet wildly appropriate degree of humor.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

See What Happened When We Played a Zombie in ‘Warm Bodies’

Perri-Warm-Bodies-WardrobeIn a post-apocalyptic world ridden with zombies, the goal is always not to become one yourself. But c’mon, who hasn’t wondered what they’d look like lumbering around decked out in grimy zombie garb? Well, my day in the living dead spotlight finally arrived! I got the opportunity to hit the set of Jonathan Levine’s Warm Bodies, have the life sucked out of me and join R (Nicholas Hoult) on set for a run-in with the Bonies.

Things kicked off bright and early with a group of nice, clean reporters congregating in a hotel lobby, waiting for the production van to arrive and take us to set at the Montréal-Mirabel International Airport, a location you might remember from The Terminal. However, Hugo Boss and Viktor Navorski’s home sweet home, Gate 67, are long gone and the location has been transformed into the Isaac Marion International Airport, named after the author of the book Warm Bodies.

“We try to make people look like these are the clothes they wore when they died …”

But before we trekked through the airport ruins, it was straight into wardrobe. For those of you who’ve met me in the flesh, you know I’m more of a jeans, T-shirt and Vans type of girl. Apparently nobody informed the Warm Bodies wardrobe department because there was a low-cut shirt, skirt and high-heel boots waiting for me to slip into. As costume designer George L. Little explained, “We try to make people look like these are the clothes they wore when they died, not just a costume, so try to dress to the face before the makeup.” I don’t know what it is about my face that says business lady, club-goer crossover, but hey, I’m about to become a zombie — might as well go all in!

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

Interview: Steve Pink (One-on-One)

I’ve done a lot of interviews, but never once has the interviewee beat me to the first question. Not only did Hot Tub Time Machine director Steve Pink throw a question my way before I could ask him one, but he asked me something totally predictable and simplistic, yet a question that caught me completely off guard. He wanted to know what I thought about his movie.

When you’re talking about a project that involves four guys time traveling back to the 80s via hot tub, you’d think there isn’t much to discuss except the pure instantly of the situation. But, no, Hot Tub Time Machine has much more to it than absurdity and insanely hilarious gags. Of course, there’s a lot of that, but HTTM has a little something extra to offer, an appealing plot.

Even with a talented group consisting of John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Clark Duke driving the film, it’s Pink’s fine tuning that makes Hot Tub Time Machine more pleasurable than its comical competition. Check out what happened when Pink put me on the spot and what he had to say about his longstanding association with Cusack, how he went about choosing 80s references to incorporate and his Dirty Rotten plan for the future.

Click here to read the interview.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

Interview: Hot Tub Time Machine’s Crispin Glover

I leaned a number of new things about Crispin Glover while at the Hot Tub Time Machine junket in Lake Tahoe. First off, he’s a successful commercial actor, but also pursuing some personal passion projects on the side. Secondly, the guy is poised to the max. Lastly, damn, Glover’s got gorgeous hair.

There’s a good chance you didn’t even know Glover was in Hot Tub Time Machine. John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Clark Duke and Craig Robinson are featured on the posters and in the trailers, but it’s Glover who’s got one of the most memorable running gags throughout the film. He plays Phil, the hotel bellhop who escorts the gang to their room and the same guy who did so back in 1986. When we meet Phil at the beginning of the film, he’s missing a little something, an arm. But after some hot tub time traveling, we meet the 1986 version of Phil and he’s fully limbed. You know what that means; he’s eventually losing that arm.

Not only did Glover dish on the physicality of his role, but he also addressed his involvement in another little time travel film, Back to the Future. Then there are Glover’s plans for the future. His dedication to use his mainstream work to finance his own films have led him to the Czech Republic where he’s building his own sets. Will It Is Mine be next on his agenda? Find out that and more below.

Click here to read the interview.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

Interview: Hot Tub Time Machine Director Steve Pink

Steve Pink had his hands full on the set of Hot Tub Time Machine, in a good way. Not only was he working with a brilliant concept – four guys traveling back in time via hot tub – but he also had four downright hilarious lead actors at his disposal. Pink and John Cusack go way back and share a production company called New Crime Productions. By uniting his buddy and business partner with the likes of Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry and Clark Duke, then tossing in some Chernobyl, booze, a squirrel and, of course, a hot tub, Pink established a recipe for comedic hilarity.

But that’s not even the least of it. Pink also had a fantastic list of supporting cast members including Crispin Glover, Chevy Chase and, his leading ladies, Collette Wolfe and Lizzy Caplan. Top that all off with a set saturated with 80s nostalgia and you’ve got a seriously entertaining throwback.

The guy behind Accepted is back and with an R-rated vengeance nonetheless. Who knew a notch up on the MPAA ratings scale could make such a difference? And that’s coming from someone who truly enjoyed Accepted. Pink delivers big time with Hot Tub Time Machine. Between the movie, this roundtable, some one-on-one time and a chance to party with Pink at the junket in Lake Tahoe, I’m eager to see what the director has up his sleeve for the future. In the meantime, I’ll be going for a second helping of HTTM.

Click here to read the interview.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews