Screen Junkies » Actors & Directors http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:27:26 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 Getting to Know Michelle MacLaren, The Newly-Named Director of ‘Wonder Woman’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/getting-to-know-michelle-maclaren-the-newly-named-director-of-wonder-woman/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/getting-to-know-michelle-maclaren-the-newly-named-director-of-wonder-woman/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:47:03 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=267635 Put your fanboy hearts at ease; this lady got skillz. And you've probably already seen her work on Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, or Game of Thrones.

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By Jared Jones

Yesterday, Warner Bros. announced that they had finally locked down a director for their upcoming Wonder Woman movie, and for some crazy reason, it’s not Brett Ratner. Instead, The Hollywood Reporter has recently confirmed that veteran television director Michelle MacLaren will not only take the helm for the upcoming blockbuster, but will be working alongside a crew of unnamed writers to draft up the script as well.

If you happen to be a Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, or Game of Thrones fan (of which 99.9% of television viewers are), chances are that you’re already familiar with some of MacLaren’s work. Since making her directorial debut in a 2002 episode of The X-Files, MacLaren has directed one-off episodes of everything from Law & Order: SVU to Hell on Wheels to The River, ABC’s found footage experiment that was sadly axed after just a season back in 2012.

Hiring a female to direct a superhero movie even one focused on a woman — is practically unheard of in the modern era, sad as it is to say. So to put all your little fanboy hearts at ease, we’ve gathered up eight clips from MacLaren’s body of work to familiarize you with one of the small screen’s hardest working directors.

The X-Files – “John Doe”

MacLaren began her career as a production manager and producer on a handful of short-lived shows and TV movies (most notable among them, Diagnosis Murder) before taking the directorial plunge in a 2002 episode of The X-Files. In the seventh episode of the ninth season, “John Doe”, MacLaren was paired with future Breaking Bad creator and collaborator Vince Gilligan, who handled writing duties, and the result, unsurprisingly, was an episode that received far better reviews than the majority of the lackluster 9th season and scored a 5.0 Nielsen rating.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit — “Infected”

The twelfth episode of SVU‘s seventh season told the story of a young boy (Malcolm David Kelley) who takes the law (and possibly the order) into his own hands by killing the man who murdered his mother. A high profile case revolving around the gun violence debate soon follows, and my guess is that at some point, Ice-T pauses to recap the episode via a series of rhetorical questions.

Breaking Bad — “4 Days Out”

MacLaren’s work on “John Doe” clearly left an impression on Gilligan, who would bring her into the Breaking Bad fold some eight years later to direct the ninth episode of season two. “Four Days Out” was one of those Breaking Bad episodes — like “Fly” or “…And the Bag’s in the River” — that took place largely in one location and focused on the relationship between Walt and Jesse over any overarching plot. It’s a beautifully shot entry in the Breaking Bad canon (see above), and one that likely led to MacLaren being brought on as an executive producer at the start of the third season.

Breaking Bad — “One Minute”

Featuring two of Aaron Paul‘s greatest monologues (“What happens now?” and “Ever since I met you“) and quite possibly the most intense endings in Breaking Bad history, ”One Minute” has rightfully earned its place as a fan favorite episode. Opening with the brutal beating of Jesse Pinkman at the hands of ASAC Schrader and bringing a brutal end to the Cousins’ subplot in the episode’s final moments, MacLaren flat out crushed it here.

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‘The Graduate’ Director Mike Nichols Passes Away at 83 http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/the-graduate-director-mike-nichols-passes-away-at-83/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/the-graduate-director-mike-nichols-passes-away-at-83/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:35:46 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=267524 "He was a true visionary, winning the highest honors in the arts for his work as a director, writer, producer and comic and was one of a tiny few to win the EGOT — an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony in his lifetime."

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By Jared Jones

Academy Award-winning director and nine time Tony winner Mike Nichols has passed away from a sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 83, ABC News reports.

Perhaps best known as the man behind such films as The Graduate and The Birdcage, Nichols actually broke into the mainstream as a comic when he and partner Elaine May scored the “Best Comedy Album” Grammy in 1961. It would be the first of many awards for Nichols, who aside from receiving the “Best Director” Oscar for The Graduate, earned a Golden Globe Award (also for The Graduate), an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, and a tribute at the 2003 Kennedy Center Honors. At the age of 81, Nichols was also awarded the Tony for “Best Direction of a Play” for his revival of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, which starred the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. That’s right, Nichols was an EGOTer.

Nichols began his directorial career with the 1966 adaptation of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, which scored 5 Academy Awards and grossed 14.5 million dollars. It would be the first of many successes for Nichols, whose body of work would also include such massive hits as Wormwood, Working Girl, and Charlie Wilson’s War, his final picture.

After Wilson’s War, Nichols’ returned to Broadway — where it was announced that he was to direct Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz in a Broadway revival of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal — and eventually, to television. Having won Emmys for his direction of both Wit and Angels in America in 2001 and 2004, respectively, he was set to reunite with Silkwood star Meryl Streep for an upcoming HBO miniseries called Master Class.

Anyone who’s ever taken a film studies class has likely written a few words about The Graduate, whose satirical takedown of American society (and iconic soundtrack from Simon & Garfunkel) made it an instant hit among critics and fans alike and helped kickstart the “Hollywood Revival” between the mid-60′s and 70′s. The film also holds the honor of containing the 42nd most iconic movie quote in film history, “Plastics,” according to AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes countdown.

“He was a true visionary, winning the highest honors in the arts for his work as a director, writer, producer and comic and was one of a tiny few to win the EGOT — an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony in his lifetime,” ABC News President James Goldston said in the statement. “No one was more passionate about his craft than Mike.”

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20 Absolutely Insane Tattoos Inspired by Stanley Kubrick Movies http://www.screenjunkies.com/gallery/20-insane-stanley-kubrick-movie-tattoos/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/gallery/20-insane-stanley-kubrick-movie-tattoos/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:49:00 +0000 bgoldstein http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=gallery&p=266465 The legendary director has been inspiring everything from Simpsons episodes to Ikea commercials lately, and as with any dead genius artist, Kubrick has an army of fans who have paid him tribute through body art.

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Stanley Kubrick is so hot right now. The legendary director has been inspiring everything from Simpsons episodes to Ikea commercials lately, and as with any dead genius artist, Kubrick has an army of fans who have paid him tribute through body art. Without further ado, here are 20 examples of real tattoos inspired by Kubrick films. Some are awesome, some will make you question the sanity of the person who got them, and all of them deserve a look.

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Denzel Washington’s Ten Greatest Movie Performances http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/denzel-washingtons-ten-greatest-movie-performances/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/denzel-washingtons-ten-greatest-movie-performances/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:03:18 +0000 DustinSeibert http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=265533 Denzel Washington is one of the greatest actors of all time. He done so much worth watching, but these are his 10 best roles.

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Denzel Washington is arguably the best actor alive. He’s been killing it on the silver screen for four decades (well, really killing it for about three) and even longer on the small screen. No longtime actor’s record is without flaw, but he’s managed to become a living legend without truly spoiling it in the way that Al Pacino and Robert De Niro did by taking numerous embarrassing movie roles late in their careers.

Last week saw the release of his latest film The Equalizer, a film adaptation of the 1980s television show that isn’t too far off from his other Denzel-on-violent-killing-spree-in-the-name-of-a-young-girl film, 2004′s Man on Fire. He’s pushing 60 now, and I’m interested to see what he will do as he crosses into that Robert Redford/Michael Douglas/Marlon Brando era of his career when his famous good looks start to fade and he moves the box office based solely on name recognition and on-screen presence.

It’s hard for me not to recommend just about every film he’s ever done just to see him in action — even that one he did that you’d have to take my mother hostage to force me to watch again. But these are, in no particular order, 10 of his must-sees…the ones that might actually convince me to leave on TNT if they’re being aired, commercials and all.

1. Glory (1989) - Poor Matthew Broderick. He got upstaged by everyone in this Civil War drama, but especially by Denzel Pvt. Trip, a headstrong Union soldier. Undoubtedly he earned his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for the scene in which he takes a beating like a G, his stare fixed on Broderick’s Col. Shaw’s, letting out only a single tear. Shivers. 

 2. Ricochet (1991) – No Denzel fan (or movie buff, for that matter) worth a damn has only Oscar darlings on their list of his favorite movies. Ricochet is, by all accounts, a B-movie, complete with honey-baked ham-style acting from antagonist John Lithgow and a very healthy serving of “Cop Killer”-era Ice-T. Denzel’s overacting as Assistant District Attorney Nick Styles when he’s trying to convince people he was set up for the fall was never going to earn him any Oscar props, but it sure is fun to watch.

3. Malcolm X (1992) – If Black Twitter existed in 1993, it would have likely exploded over the fact that Al Pacino won the Best Actor Oscar for the most overwrought performance of his career over Denzel’s portrayal of Malcolm Little/El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. He got lost in the role and put his own patina on Brother Malcolm while managing to respect the respect the legacy of the man. Unlike most Spike Lee films, this one still stands tall after more than two decades; it also remains the director’s best, most impactful film.

4. He Got Game (1998) - Not a Denzel film that typically falls on critics’ “best of” lists, but a personal favorite because the film deals with a lot of father-son dynamics that tug at my cold, hard heartstrings. Denzel is masterful as a humbled convict looking to get back in good graces with his estranged children and out of prison while he’s at it. However, contrary to a few clearly idiotic opinions, Denzel’s movie son, NBA player Ray Allen, proved that he couldn’t act his way out of a wet paper bag. Like most pro athletes. Say what you will about his filmmaking, but Spike Lee always brought the best out of Denzel.

5. The Hurricane (1999) – Like He Got Game, this is another Denzel vehicle in which the movie surrounding his tremendous performance is decent but ultimately unmemorable. Playing the real-life Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a boxer wrongly convicted of a murder of which was exonerated after 20 years in the pen, Denzel packed on more muscle than he did for any other movie of his career and delivered a quiet, measured performance that should’ve netted him a Best Actor Oscar before Training Day. There was a boatload of controversy regarding the veracity of the film’s events, but how many of you actually believe everything you see in biopics anyway?

On the next page: Denzel plays a trumpet player, a dirty detective, a drunk pilot, a lawyer, and a football coach — and kills ‘em all.

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Ten Actors Who Followed in Their Famous Parents’ Footsteps: The Good, The Bad & The Wackness http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/ten-actors-who-followed-in-their-famous-parents-footsteps-the-good-the-bad-the-wackness/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/ten-actors-who-followed-in-their-famous-parents-footsteps-the-good-the-bad-the-wackness/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 19:16:20 +0000 DustinSeibert http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=264719 Nepotism has lead to Hollywood careers for many children of acting royalty. But how do they stack up?

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Ask nearly the entire damn cast of HBO’s Girls: There’s no nepotism quite like Hollywood nepotism. It’s why we see too many weak-sauce children of respected Hollywood celebs fumble and bumble their way through careers in attempts to grab the respect of their established parents.

Sometimes it works; in rare cases, the scion is even better at it than the parent. All too often though, Hollywood heirs are the equivalent of that pain-in-the-ass 21 year old who’s running the produce section of his dad’s grocery store into the ground just because he can. Here are 10 descendants of actors who have their own acting careers — with very mixed results.

1. Eva Amurri

Parent: Susan Sarandon

The smokin’ hot daughter of one of Hollywood’s most beloved actresses hasn’t done a whole lot in her adult acting career that doesn’t involve, well, being snokin’ hot. My personal favorite role of Amurri’s — for completely legitimate reasons not involving her naked tatters is the stripper student vying for Hank Moody’s affections in season 3 of Showtime’s Californication. Her Wikipedia filmography has her credited in a couple dozen projects; if you can name more than three of them without looking, I’d be surprised. Verdict: Pretty wack, all things considered

2. Colin Hanks

Parent: Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks’ oldest son, who Tom had in his very early 20s, has earned decent indie cred starting with 2002′s Orange County. But he’s never managed to nab any other leading roles like his old man; perhaps his most noteworthy role was as the season 6 big baddie in the by-then-declining Showtime show Dexter, though he also handled himself well earlier this year as a meek police officer trying to take down Billy Bob Thornton in FX’s Fargo. There’s nothing outwardly offensive or untalented about Colin, but he’ll always be the Michael Jordan Jr. to his dad. Verdict: Not too shabby

3. Jamie Lee Curtis

Parent: Janet Leigh

I’ll try not to write with too much bias, considering Curtis was one of my earliest film crushes and is the protagonist in my favorite horror film of all time (1978′s Halloween). Objectively speaking, however, Curtis is a very average actress at first following in the Scream Queen footsteps of her Psycho alumna mother before branching off into beloved ’80s fare, including 1983′s Trading Places (her first topless scene) and 1988′s A Fish Called Wanda, which earned her her first Golden Globe nomination (she brought the award home for 1994′s True Lies). All said, I’m sure Marion Crane would be proud of Laurie Strode. Verdict: Decent…and wouldja just LOOK AT THAT BOD?!?!?

4. Kate Hudson

Parent: Goldie Hawn

Kate Hudson had precisely one memorable film role: Penny Lane in Cameron Crowe‘s 2000 semi-autobiographical Almost Famous. Everything after that has been has been a clusterf*** of romantic comedies whose plots are all interchangeable and a few episodes of Glee. She’s not an insufferable actress to watch per se, but no one on Earth will ever say, “Wow, that Kate Hudson performance was truly memorable!” She’s known more these days for being in a bikini than being a meaningful actress. In other words, she’s a chip off the ol’ block. Verdict: Meh

5. Kiefer Sutherland

Parents: Donald Sutherland and Shirley Douglas

Ol’ Kiefer is easily one of the scariest actors of all time: When I was a child, he put the fear of Black Jesus in my heart as Ace Merrill in 1987′s Stand By Me and again in the following year’s horror fantasy classic The Lost Boys. He’s had a robust career over the past three decades, often playing the brooding bad guy or the brooding good guy or the brooding unseen narrator, that gravelly timbre getting under your skin. It wasn’t until 24 that he became synonymous with Jack Bauer and going whole days without taking a piss. Before 24, Kiefer was on the verge of becoming like Papa Donald: one of those old actors everyone knows but sorta forgets about until someone brings them up. Verdict: Bauerlicious 

Follow us to the next page for five actors who completely outshined their famous parents — although we can’t really explain why.

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R.I.P. Joan Rivers: Her Nine Most Controversial Moments http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/joan-rivers-dies-most-controversial-moments/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/joan-rivers-dies-most-controversial-moments/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 20:02:09 +0000 DustinSeibert http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=264665 The sharp-tongued comedy legend has passed away at the age of 81. We look back at a few times she failed to give a single f**k — even when she probably should have.

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Joan Rivers, everyone’s favorite surgically-altered comedian/insult artist, passed away today in New York at the age of 81, after suffering cardiac arrest during a “minor throat procedure” last week. And so, another comedy legend has left this mortal coil.

Rivers is inarguably a trailblazer for female comedians, having delved into blue stand-up comedy in the 1960s when it was still taboo for any comedian, let alone a pretty young lady from Brooklyn. Amy Schumer, Whitney Cummings, Lisa Lampanelli and the like owe a tremendous debt to her; in the coming days, you’ll undoubtedly hear and read lots of elegies pointing this out.

In her later years, however, Rivers became known more for her unapologetic brand of comedy that often fell into inappropriate and politically incorrect territory. Luckily, the combination of her advanced age and the universal understanding that Joan Rivers has never given a single f*** made all her “controversies” somewhat short-lived.

Rivers said a lot that landed her in trouble throughout the decades, but here are some of her more recent moments of cold-bloodedness. Rest in peace, Joan Rivers: A sharp-tongued legend who never stopped going in.

1. Calling Michelle Obama a “Tranny”: Dime-store “reporters,” including TMZ and the like, discovered that the octogenarian Rivers was even less restrained than in her younger years, so they all approached her with the same agenda: Get a potentially viral video out of her. Indeed, she rarely disappointed: Here, she called the leader of the free world “gay” and his wife a “tranny” in an under-40-second clip. After the fallout, she gave a deliciously bulls**t non-apology that was actually more outrageous than the original statement.

2. Rivers on Palestine: Less than a month ago, TMZ got their hooks in Rivers (again) by getting her to talk about the renewed Israel-Palestine conflict. She said the Palestinians “deserve to be dead.” In very rare form, she actually apologized for her comments. Looks like even she has some limits.

3. Heidi Klum Holocaust Joke: Now, this was a rare example of a Joan Rivers compliment that just went pear-shaped. Rivers was praising Heidi Klum’s ensemble from the 2013 Oscars on her show Fashion Police, saying, “The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens.” Since Rivers is Jewish, I’m not sure if she has more leeway to make a crack like this, or less. Either way, people were pissed, and she wasn’t sorry.

4. Comments on captive women: Quick but dirty: On her WEtv reality show Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best? Rivers lamented on the lack of space in her daughter’s guest bedroom by saying, “Those women in the basement in Cleveland had more room.’’ Of course, she was referencing the women held captive, raped and tortured for years by sadist Ariel Castro. Hardly ever one for regrets, Rivers refused to ever apologize for the comments.

5. Rivers bounces from CNN Interview: CNN anchor (and my future second wife) Fredricka Whitfield interviewed Rivers about her book Diary of a Mad Diva. The interview was going just fine until Whitfield started nicely asking her about her tendency to, y’know, piss people off. Then Rivers got defensive, unhooked her mic mid-invective and stormed off. CNN sucks more often than not, but Rivers was definitely reaching.

6. Lindsay Lohan Miscarriage Jokes: Oprah Winfrey and company, for some strange reason, had the shining beacon of an idea to give Lindsay Lohan her own eponymous “docu-series” that no one ever really cared about. On that show’s series finale, she admits to having had a miscarriage that messed up the show’s production for a while. TMZ (big surprise) encountered Rivers and her daughter Melissa on the street; likely knowing she would say something spectacularly screwed up, they asked her opinion on Lohan’s miscarriage. She didn’t let down. Even Melissa was grossed out.

7. North West ugly comments: Now I’m more open-minded than most, but even I think this is a tad grimy. I wish all the hate the world can muster to be rained down upon Kim Kardashian‘s and Kanye West‘s vapid noggins, but bringing their spawn into the mix is another thing. Mind you, the phrase, “I’ve never seen a 6-month-old so desperately in need of waxing” is pretty damn funny, but that poor girl already has plenty of crap to deal with growing up with the parents she has (and her name).

8. Cracking on Adele’s Weight: This one is mean only because Adele hasn’t done anything we know of to feel any sense of schadenfreude toward her. Sure, Adele is on the larger side of things, but Rivers pretty much went hard on Twitter to let everyone know exactly what she thought about her, and even dragged Adele’s baby in the mix.

9. Kim Kardashian Sex Tape Spoof: This one is pretty self-explanatory: two B-list celebrities grasping for straws by making fun of that devil of a tape which made Kim Kardashian a “star.” It made baby sister Khloe so angry she bailed on co-hosting Rivers’ Fashion Police show. I’m sure Khloe’s absence totally resulted in the show missing out on an Emmy.

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‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ and the Continued Whitewashing of Hollywood http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/exodus-gods-and-kings-and-the-continued-whitewashing-of-hollywood/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/exodus-gods-and-kings-and-the-continued-whitewashing-of-hollywood/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:13:59 +0000 DustinSeibert http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=264500 White actors have far too often occupied roles for other ethnic minorities. Why on Earth is this still going on in 2014?!?

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When Katherine Hepburn donned slanted-eye makeup to play a Japanese woman in 1944′s Dragon Seed, the United States was embroiled in a war in which Japan was one of the aggressors. Laurence Olivier played the Moor Othello in blackface for the titular 1965 movie adaptation of the Shakespeare play, which came out at a time when America was waist-deep in the Civil Rights Movement.

While it was unfortunate that studios likely didn’t even consider talented actors of the appropriate ethnicity for either role, both are examples from a foregone era of racial intolerance. What’s truly incensing is that not much has changed over half a century later, even with a black man in the Oval Office and historically underrepresented minorities holding professional and political positions that were unattainable not so long ago. Even in the Twitter Era, when no one lets anyone get away with anything, it’s mind-blowing that studios like to keep their lead roles as European as possible in damn near any film that’s not a period piece, a biopic or starring one of maybe four or five truly bankable black or Latino movie stars.

The upcoming Exodus: Gods and Kings is catching justifiable heat for its cast of white actors in lead roles of a film based on a “true” (if the Bible means anything to you) story set in ancient Africa, while featuring a slew of unknown black actors in either servile or antagonistic roles. The controversy has caught so much attention, it even has its own Wikipedia paragraph.

The whitewashing of films like Exodus in recent years has been subtle and not-so, and the examples are too plentiful to list here exhaustively. Some high-profile ones: Jake Gyllenhaal — he of the broody, punchable face — was tasked to play the titular character in 2010′s crappy video game adaptation Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Yes, the prince of Persia (a.k.a. modern day Iran). And his love interest, the Persian princess, is played by Gemma Arterton, a woman so British she’s probably got a tramp stamp of the Union Jack.

Angelina Jolie has twice played roles not suited for her German-Dutch ancestry: once in 2008′s Wanted, where she played the lead role of Fox — who is unambiguously black  and modeled after Halle Berry in the comic book source material (a non-controversy since not enough people were familiar with Mark Millar‘s book) — and also as Mariane Pearl, who’s brown-skinned and of mixed race in real life, in 2007′s A Mighty Heart.

It’s even been argued that Hollywood sweetheart and delightful awards show goofball Jennifer Lawrence represents the whitewashing of Katniss Everdeen, who is described in the Hunger Games book as an “olive-skinned” member of the lower class; author Suzanne Collins‘ allegories of the race and socioeconomic dichotomy in the book series are quite manifest, which makes casting natural blonde Lawrence as the rebel leader of a movement with clear racial undertones pretty ironic. (Also ironic: the racist bulls**t that reared itself as a result of Amandla Stenberg’s casting as Rue)

I understand that Hollywood has a vested interest in the financial bottom line, especially in a zeitgeist in which an ever-increasing buffet of media options is only partly to blame for a steady decline in box office. And given the planet that we live on, it’s no surprise that the most bankable actors (not named Will Smith) are white.


(Lupita Nyong’o)

It doesn’t make it any less painful to watch talented black actors like Viola Davis relegated to roles in garbage-ass Tyler Perry films when she deserves the profile of someone like Jolie. Or less disheartening to open my Entertainment Weekly magazine week after week and not get to read that Lupita Nyong’o, fresh off an Oscar for 12 Years a Slave, has Hollywood breaking her door down for lead roles like they did with Lawrence after her Oscar (though I am excited to see Nyong’o take on a lead role in the film adaptation of Americanah, one of the best books I’ve read in the past few years).

And then there are the inherent issues with the lack of a high profile that most minority actors have. Indie films like A Mighty Heart benefit from a marquee name like Jolie’s, and even she couldn’t save it from crashing and burning at the box office. I’d like to believe that the real-life Mariane Pearl hand-picked Jolie for the role to help boost its profile, not for the reason she provided: “It is not about the color of your skin. It is about who you are. I asked her to play the role—even though she is way more beautiful than I am—because I felt a real kinship to her.”

Whatever. I’m sure Hollywood is stocked with a bunch of talented Cree Summer-lookalikes who’d kill their mother for a breakout role like that.

The whole thing is something of a chicken-egg issue: Does Hollywood make a conscious effort to cast more ethnic minorities in lead roles in an attempt to make them more mainstream? Or do we raise hell every time Exodus happens, threatening boycotts and using the always-effective Twitter to voice our concerns? We can’t expect the handful of rising minority actors to be ultra-picky if they want to have any kind of career, so is it really up to us, the consumer?

Unfortunately, completely eradicating the whitewashing problem in Hollywood is tantamount to solving much larger, pandemic issues with race in America. I’m afraid getting people sufficiently pissed off at seeing a pretty, white Katniss on the big screen is like Sisyphus pushing the boulder uphill.

I, for one, will start by not shelling out dough to see Exodus. Which sucks because swords-and-sandals epics are totally in Ridley Scott’s wheelhouse.

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Meet the Star Wars Episode VII Cast (So Far) http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/meet-the-new-star-wars-episode-vii-cast/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/meet-the-new-star-wars-episode-vii-cast/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 16:56:50 +0000 DustinSeibert http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=264411 The list of cast members for the new Star Wars movie is ever-growing. Check out who's on board so far.

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Seems like every week, new cast info emerges — interesting or otherwise — on the upcoming Star Wars trilogy. The production is such nerd enchantment that it makes the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron movie look like a farming documentary. Most fanboys seem pretty content with their high priest J.J. Abrams at the helm, but as can be expected, there’s a boatload of scrutiny in the comments section of any article about the cast.

There’s a lot riding on Star Wars: Episode VII. Abrams and company can either bolster the legacy of the Holy Trilogy (and make folks forget about its far inferior prequel trilogy) or they could pull some Jar-Jar Binks s**t and forever sport the ire of grown men who finished undergrad before ever getting laid.

We’ll all find out next December. Meanwhile, here’s the lowdown on all the confirmed stars so far:

Lupita Nyong’o – Role Unannounced We at Screen Junkies are truly thrilled to see Lupita getting all the props she deserves from her Oscar-winning turn in 12 Years a Slave. But that means nothing if her as-yet-unannounced role is of Jar-Jar Binks’ long-lost offspring. Everyone will come after that Oscar with pitchforks faster than they came after Halle after Catwoman. 

Gwendoline Christie - Role Unannounced This is a fantastic hire, since Christie’s Brienne of Tarth is one of the best characters among a lot of great ones on the fantastic Game of Thrones. I hope they don’t douse her in a bunch of makeup for her role, because her face is a commanding presence. She’d be absolutely kick-ass in a lightsaber duel.

John Boyega – Role Unannounced Don’t know much about this guy or if that many people on this side of the pond caught him in any of his four roles to date. Presumably, he was tapped after his performance in British horror-comedy Attack the Block. Check out the funny fan-made scene above of Boyega wielding a lightsaber in place of a bat in a scene from that movie.

Daisy Ridley – Role Unannounced The rumor mill has Ridley, a British television star who could probably sit down in your living room and go unrecognized, as one of the lead characters in the entire trilogy. Daughter of Han and Leia, perhaps? To be plucked from relative obscurity to go to the front of the bus in the most anticipated franchise return in decades? No pressure, dear…

Adam DriverRole Unannounced Perhaps the only part of HBO’s Girls that doesn’t qualify as a hate-watch, Driver’s career has picked up substantially in the last year or so; word is he’s going to be somewhere on the Dark Side of things for Episode VII, which means there’s a decent chance he’ll be defeated by the film’s conclusion and not make it to the rest of the trilogy. Which would be a damn shame.

Oscar Isaac – Role Unannounced This guy came from out of nowhere and blew everyone away with his titular role in the Coen BrothersInside Llewyn Davis from last year. The Star Wars series is not exactly known for its dramatic heft or acting chops (the last trilogy did have Hayden Christensen in a lead role, after all), so I’m excited to see what Isaac brings to the table.

Andy SerkisRole Unannounced If Serkis is involved, that means there will be some serious motion capture work in the new movie. Since everything he touches turns to gold these days, the cred he adds to the series is invaluable.

Domhnall Gleeson – Role Unannounced I would be more excited if his horribly underrated dad Brendan were in the series, but Domhnall showed some interesting promise of a career to come in last year’s About Time. Listen to him explain in his Irish brogue how scared he is of talking about Star Wars at all.

On the next page: A bunch of grizzled veterans and another cute British girl you’ve never heard of.

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http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/meet-the-new-star-wars-episode-vii-cast/feed/ 0 <<enter caption here>> on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. Gwendoline-Christie Daisy-Ridley Adam Driver andy serkis Domhnall
11 Famous Actors and Their Embarrassing Early Film Roles http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/11-famous-actors-and-their-embarrassing-early-film-roles/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/11-famous-actors-and-their-embarrassing-early-film-roles/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:17:15 +0000 DustinSeibert http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=264053 These actors all make millions of dollars now, but boy did they start out in some stinkers.

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Brad Pitt, in addition to being a personal lubricant for any woman over the age of 20, is one of the generation’s most respected actors, having logged decades worth of Oscar-quality films.

But as with many actors of his caliber, his start was less auspicious — there are a bunch of late-’80s and ’90s stinkers with his young, beautiful mug in them. Some actors get lucky right out the gate (see: Jennifer Lawrence), but most actors that anyone cares about had to slog through bit parts in horrible movies to make a name.

In a cutthroat industry like Hollywood, we shouldn’t chastise them. Hell, we all gotta make rent. But that doesn’t make it any less schadenfreudelicious to look back on some of the awful early roles of actors who can now buy and sell us several times over.

Jennifer AnistonLeprechaun (1993) No one will pretend for a second that Jennifer Aniston has any cred as a “meaningful actress” — I’m guessing her shot at Oscar glory is as unlikely as her chances at a meaningful long-term relationship. But one year before she became Rachel Greene, she starred with Willow in horror comedy Leprechaun. This series is still cranking out sequels and prequels; no telling if she’s gonna add to her rumored $11o million net worth by reprising her role.

Leonardo DiCaprio – Critters 3 (1991) The funniest thing about this role is the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio pretty much looks like the same 17-year-old punk 23 years later. Still, it’s funny to see Martin Scorsese‘s go-to actor competing with a bunch of nasty Furbies with sharp teeth in the second sequel to an 80s B-movie franchise. Unfortunately, Leo makes it through the film without getting his punchable face chewed through.

Steve Carell – Curly Sue (1991) Steve Carell is the most aiiight comedian on the face of the earth, so I’m not sure if anyone missed much from his quick, nobody role as a waiter in this charming early-1990s vehicle for the surviving Belushi brother.

Damon WayansBeverly Hills Cop (1984) The funniest Wayans brother (by far) offers Eddie Murphy his bananas in a pretty funny bit role that served as something of a predecessor to his Men on Film bit on In Living Color. 

Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger – Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994) This movie is indescribably bad, and features a pre-”awright, awright, awright” McConaughey basically being an evil redneck to Zellweger’s obnoxious, interminably screaming minx. Don’t watch this. Consider yourself warned.

Continue to the next page for the very humble beginnings of Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, Angelina Jolie, and more…

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Supercut: Every Quentin Tarantino Movie Death http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/supercut-every-quentin-tarantino-movie-death/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/supercut-every-quentin-tarantino-movie-death/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:46:21 +0000 bgoldstein http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=264281 It's oddly therapeutic, in a way. Although I'd say that the Gimp's death was sort of undetermined. Some say he's still out there, looking for love.

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Today’s must-see video comes to us from Jaume R. Lloret, who has lovingly placed every single violent death from Quentin Tarantino‘s films into one convenient supercut. It’s oddly therapeutic, in a way. Although I’d say that the Gimp‘s death was sort of undetermined. Some say he’s still out there, looking for love.

For a full body count, consult this Quentin Tarantino movie deaths infographic.

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The “What If Michael Bay Directed Up?” Trailer Is Here to Answer All Your “What If Michael Bay Directed Up?” Questions http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/the-what-if-michael-bay-directed-up-trailer-is-here-to-answer-all-your-what-if-michael-bay-directed-up-questions/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/the-what-if-michael-bay-directed-up-trailer-is-here-to-answer-all-your-what-if-michael-bay-directed-up-questions/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 21:37:31 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=264278 I think we can all agree that Michael Bay is to subtlety and restraint what Joseph Stalin was to...subtlety and restraint. Am I calling Michael Bay the Joseph Stalin of filmmaking, or implying that Bay might even be Joseph Stalin reincarnated? Yes, I am saying that.

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By Jared Jones

I think we can all agree that Michael Bay is to subtlety and restraint what Joseph Stalin was to…subtlety and restraint, right? Come to think of it, Bay and Stalin have more in common than you might assume: Both rose to the top of their industries despite strong protests from their peers, both are/were megalomaniacs who worked tirelessly to develop personality cults, and both were born in years beginning with 19. Am I calling Michael Bay the Joseph Stalin of filmmaking, or implying that Bay might even be Joseph Stalin reincarnated? Yes, I am saying that. Michael Bay is Joseph Stalin reincarnated.

Still, the man’s made so much money in his career that he could purchase one of the exotic countries he so often shoots in and rename it (Baytopia? The Republic of ROCKoslavakia?) if he wanted to. All we can really do at this point is parody what’s made him such a success while quietly stabbing ourselves with forks to numb the infinite sadness caused by the death of art that is his filmmaking.

“Wow, that got really, really dark,” is what I said about that last sentence after I wrote it and what I said five minutes into Up, which brings us to today’s item (*stands up, accepts award for greatest topic transition ever*). Youtube user MrStratman7 has become known the internet over for his humorous takedowns of Michael Bay’s “style” of directing, most notably in “What if Michael Bay Directed “The Shawshank Redemption?”, which currently holds OVER 80,000 HITS on Youtube (Take that, Miley Cyrus!). For his latest effort in “What If”-style recut movie trailers featuring Michael Bay, he tackles Up.

Give it a gander, then let us know (or let MrStratman7 know, I guess) which movies you’d like to see Michael Bay parodies of in the future. Personally, I’d love to see a Michael Bay version of City of God, where the gangs all carry bazookas and Rocket has a sentient pet robot instead of a camera. And it takes place in 2060 on Mars so the sentient pet robot makes sense.

Jesus, that’s a stupid enough idea to actually become a movie. What have I done?

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R.I.P Robin Williams: On the Passing of an Icon and the “Legalized Insanity” of Comedy http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/r-i-p-robin-williams-on-the-passing-of-an-icon-and-the-legalized-insanity-of-comedy/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/r-i-p-robin-williams-on-the-passing-of-an-icon-and-the-legalized-insanity-of-comedy/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 16:33:27 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=264064 Robin Williams was a walking, talking stream of consciousness, an errant television signal from another planet that had (barely) been contained to a human vessel in some sort of freak accident. We'll dearly miss him.

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By Jared Jones

It’s funny — the first thing I did after allowing the news of Robin Williams‘ passing to settle last night was rewatch his appearance on Inside the Actors Studio. A comedy and film icon with over 100 voice and acting roles to his credit (and more memorable characters than my video library could possibly hold) had just died, and rather than dust off my ancient VHS copy of Jumanji and remember the good times, I was looking for closure in the deadpan monotone of James Lipton?

I guess I sought out Williams’ appearance on Inside the Actors Studio out of the misguided sense that it would reveal who the real Robin Williams was. Surely, the episode would consist of a series of deep, “revealing” questions that hinted at the pain, the depression, the drug abuse that Williams had battled against throughout his legendary career. Surely, I would get a glimpse into the man behind the perpetually contorting mask.

Some eight minutes into Williams’ appearance, the only question he had even come close to answering was about his style of comedy, which he had dubbed “legalized insanity.” The rest was basically an extended improv, featuring prop work, audience interaction, and no less than 10 characters; an immigrant, a southerner, an old-timey politician, a smoker speaking through an electrolarynx, etc. Dizzying, hysterical, and almost overwhelming, the bit was the epitome of every joke that’s been made about Robin Williams’ style of comedy since he rose to popularity some 40 years ago, and it freaking killed. Most of the audience was doubled over with uncontrollable laughter, and even Lipton was in stitches. Robin Williams was treating this prestigious, learned audience like the Saturday night crowd at the Laugh Factory, and he was on fire.

Forty impression-filled minutes later, Williams borrowed a pink scarf from a woman in the audience and used it to transform into a female movie director from Bombay, then a terrified Iraqi woman, then Robin Van Schoppel: Gay Rabbi, and finally, an Iron Chef host.

And that’s more or less when I accepted just who Robin Williams was. The unprompted outbursts, the constant barrage of voices and characters; that was just him doing him. Robin Williams was schizophrenia fully realized; a walking, talking stream of consciousness, or an errant television signal from another planet, maybe, that had (barely) been contained to a human vessel in some sort of freak accident. He was certifiably bonkers, but managed to harness those crazy, kneejerk, Id-driven thoughts we all have into a routine. If he weren’t so damn famous, he’d probably be locked up. Hence, “legalized insanity.” He was also one of the kindest, most outgoing guys in the industry, which is probably why they allowed him to stick around as long as he did.

Williams always came across — to me at least — as someone who chose comedy out of a greater desire than making other people laugh. It wasn’t a mindless indulgence to Williams, although the speed at which he could fearlessly fire off material might lead you to believe it was. It was a necessity, a distraction from the soul-crushing normalcy of people who weren’t Robin Williams. To write it off as a coping mechanism would be too easy, but comedy seemed to be the only way he could exist in a world so mundane, so profoundly inhibited.

And that’s perhaps the saddest truth about comedy (and the success garnered by it), that those gifted with it are seemingly the most conflicted, depressed people among us, often as a result. Because comedy is creation — a single person’s unique understanding of the world around them, from premise to execution — and creation often breeds dejection. Where there should be self-confidence, there is only doubt in one’s abilities. Like any drug, comedic success builds a tolerance within you that can only be satisfied with a bigger, better high. Perfection becomes your endgame, impossible as it may be, and eventually, the bottom always drops out.

We’ve seen it with countless comedy greats: Chappelle, Seinfeld, Pryor, and so on. The pressure to constantly best yourself, to make each and every person you meet laugh no matter what condition you might be in…it’s too much for most. Eventually, you just drop all your shit and flee to Africa, so to speak, or become a recluse. You do anything within your power to avoid the mountain of expectation your own damn mind has convinced you that you need to rise above. It’s exactly what happened to Williams, and exactly what has happened to dozens of praised funnymen before him.

Moments before bringing about the apocalypse in Stanley Elkin’s The Living End, God revealed himself to the legions of the assembled dead and the living billions and addressed them all at once. He was moments away from bringing about the annihilation of everything he had created, and his reasoning behind it was simply “Because I never found my audience.”

“You gave me, some of you, your ooh’s and aah’s, the Jew’s hooray and the Catholics’ Latin deference — all theology’s pious wow. But I never found my audience.”

I’d like to think that Robin Williams found his audience. Maybe not during his time here on Earth, or maybe not in whatever afterlife you prefer to picture him in, but within himself. Robin Williams was the only audience necessary for Robin Williams, and the only audience that could truly appreciate his greatness. A hyperbolic or egotistical or plain rude statement it may be, but it’s ultimately fitting for a man as truly original as Williams. Go ahead, try and name one person who you could even begin to compare to him, celebrity or otherwise. Name one person so unashamedly wacky, so multifaceted and uninhibited, that they could even begin to understand the constant influx and outpour of thought that Williams has displayed in almost every public appearance since 1975. I don’t know about you, but I’m extremely grateful that I cannot.

To pull a quote from one of William’s more recent efforts, World’s Greatest Dad, “I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up alone, it’s not. The worst thing in the world is to end up with people that make you feel alone.”

Here’s hoping you found your audience, Mr. Williams.

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How Not to Do a Female-Led Superhero Film http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/how-not-to-do-a-female-led-superhero-film/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/how-not-to-do-a-female-led-superhero-film/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 18:14:27 +0000 DustinSeibert http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=263894 Marvel's planning a female superhero-driven film in 2017. But will it be any good? Here's how the studio can blow it — and how they can make it great.

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Sony reportedly has a Marvel-based female superhero movie on deck for 2017.

Have reasons to fear.

It’s high time for a movie of its type, especially considering the increased demands for one in the face of the myriad ultra-successful, male-driven comic book films we’ve seen in the past decade or so. While there hasn’t been a female lead in a comic book film since the genre got a massive injection via the Marvel Cinematic Universe — which became the highest-grossing franchise in U.S. history —  there’s absolutely a precedent for female-led superhero films, despite what many headlines would have you believe in order to earn your click. The problem is, none of them have been especially memorable. (Raise your hand if you can describe the plot of 2005′s Elektra without consulting Wikipedia.)

If Sony makes a female-fronted Marvel superhero movie, it would have to be in the Spider-Man universe, which really leaves room for only one of three characters: Spider-Woman, the mercenary Silver Sable, or the shameless Catwoman rip-off Black Cat, who was already introduced in this year’s Amazing Spider-Man 2, albeit only as her alter ego Felicia Hardy. Since Sony doesn’t own the characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, forget about seeing Scarlett Johansson head up her own Black Widow film anytime soon.

Any ideas about Sony’s plans for the movie are mere speculation at this juncture, so we have to sit on our thumbs for a while. But there are certainly ways that Sony or any other studio, for that matter — could blow a successful female-led superhero film. Here are a few:

 

Overly sexualize the hero: The very second thought I had the first time I saw a picture of Halle Berry’s Catwoman (right after “Hmm, where’d I put the Jergens?”) was, “This movie is gonna be a massive failstick.” Lo and behold, it was totally execrable. Tim Burton got away with camping up Batman and Catwoman in 1992, but in 2004 — during a period when superhero films were moving away from silliness — Halle’s take on the character was the essence of eye-rolling. Any contemporary female superhero in film needs to be sexy by default, but her sexuality needs to be matched by a heaping helping of smarts and savvy for her to be taken seriously.

Crappy casting: I wrote a little about this already, but the importance of good casting to the success of a female-driven superhero movie can’t be understated. It’s arguably even more important than a male character-driven film, because nerdboys have very specific ideas in their minds about the women they see in comic books and the actresses they see playing them – it’s like a spank bank for which Bob Kane is the proprietor. I was surprised Elektra even got made considering the spectacular awfulness of its predecessor, 2003’s Daredevil, but Jennifer Garner never belonged in this role to begin with. Elektra needed to be a played by a kick-ass, dark-haired, olive-skinned Latina or Greek goddess (think Maria Menounos with a dye job and some acting skills), not the chick who relegates herself to bad Matthew McConaughey rom-coms.

Making a movie around a throwaway character(s): Perhaps the most obvious challenge of a female-driven comic superhero flick is the disproportionately small number of lady characters that matter to the public at large. Sure, you have folks coming out in droves to see The Hunger GamesKatniss Everdeen and Divergent’s Beatrice Prior (a.k.a. Family Dollar’s Katniss Everdeen) on the big screen, but the YA set has way more cred among money-dropping moviegoers than buxom comic characters. Even Wonder Woman arguably the most popular female comic book character of all time — has been plagued by failure in attempts to adapt her for the big and small screens. There’s no way any of the female X-Men could carry their own film with their current actresses (except maybe Ellen Page’s Shadowcat), and I’ve seen nothing about a She-Hulk film. Vampirella has been done so poorly in the movies that I can’t see anyone turning around that bus. DC’s Birds of Prey is a cool group, but Christopher Nolan set the bar so high for films in the Batman world that I don’t know if anyone can tackle it again without face-planting…though we’ll find out soon enough.

A new film without introduction from a previous film: Again, Wonder Woman is probably the safest bet for her own movie in 2014, but even she’s getting ushered in via Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Marvel Studios could absolutely make a movie where Johansson carries the mantle as the lead in a Black Widow film, but she’s been in three films already. Sony releasing a Black Cat flick makes the most since the studio is boning up to create a “cinematic universe” around Spider-Man, and she’s already been introduced. But not enough people appreciated ASM2, and if Sony can sh*t out three or four more movies in that universe that moviegoers will care about, I’d be surprised. Under the right author, Jessica Drew’s Spider-Woman is a fantastic, compelling character, so hopefully Sony can incorporate her in future Spider-Man sequels so she can get her own film.

Think inside the box: As an avid comic reader, I realize that the world of comic book adaptations shouldn’t begin and end with Marvel and DC. My favorite female comic book lead in recent years is the titular character in Garth Ennis’ excellent Jennifer Blood. She’s a complicated anti-hero in every way, and a well-done, hard-R-rated movie around her could truly resonate with people. Hack/Slash, an indie title that sends up the slasher film genre – complete with ample blood and boobs – is reportedly being worked into a film. However, the lead character, Cassie Hack, has to be carefully cast: she’s smoking hot and frequently scantily clad, but she’s not a bimbo, and methinks whomever will be at the helm of that film will have difficulty navigating those waters. While not technically a super power, I’d love to see S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Maria Hill get her own vehicle, as she’s one of the most ass-kicking female characters who also has a personality. Finally, Greg Rucka’s Batwoman, an open lesbian forced out of the military for “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” is ripe for a film that the big studios probably aren’t progressive enough to tackle just yet.

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The Screen Junkies Q&A: Dan Beers, Director of ‘Premature’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-screenjunkies-qa-dan-beers-director-of-premature/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-screenjunkies-qa-dan-beers-director-of-premature/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:54:41 +0000 JasonIannone http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=263379 If you loved Groundhog Day but felt there were too few jokes about Bill Murray's penis, then Premature is the film for you.

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By Jason Iannone

In real life, if you screw up, you’re stuck with your screw-up. There are no do-overs, no second chances, no nothing. If you met the most beautiful girl in the world and the first thing that comes out of your mouth is a literal puddle of drool, good luck taking that back ever. You’re forever known as Drooly to her, her friends, and anybody who watched you make a fool of yourself that day.

That’s the beauty of a movie like Premature, the story of a high school kid who just can’t get that all-important loss of virginity down pat. Luckily for him, whenever he doesn’t deposit in the right place at the right time, the Universe resets itself, sending him back to bed to start the day again until he gets it right. If you loved Groundhog Day but felt there were too few jokes about Bill Murray‘s penis, then Premature is the film for you.

To learn more about the film, we sat down with director Dan Beers for a fun-filled and family-friendly Q&A. Namely, this one:

ScreenJunkies: Did you have any concerns about re-using a concept from such a famously unique film like Groundhog Day?

Dan Beers: We did, especially since that movie is an all-time favorite of mine. What happened was, there was another movie I was in the process of making, but that didn’t pan out. That film’s producer, Film Nation, invited me to pitch any new ideas, so my writing partner, Mathew Harawitz, and I were brainstorming what to do, and we came across this idea of doing a time loop movie a la Groundhog Day. Plus, I’m a huge fan of ‘80s-style teen comedies like Porky’s. Finally, we settled on the idea of a movie where a kid is forever being stuck in the worst possible time: trying to have sex for the first time.

SJ: What made you decide to add an explanation for the time loop, instead of keeping it vague?

DB: In early drafts, we had a more concrete explanation: a curse (much like in the original draft for Groundhog Day). But ultimately, we decided to give Rob the idea that he was making choices not for himself, but for his parents and his friends, and he wasn’t being true to himself. And we liked the idea of the universe kind of giving him a little nudge, giving him the opportunity to do over things he was doing wrong.

The idea for the trigger for the day, that being the orgasm, we had fun with the idea. It’s kind of like those movies where there’s a bomb under the table, and you know it’s going to go off, you just don’t know when. And for us, that was a lot of fun, the idea that the orgasm is the bomb, and every day it will happen, you just don’t know when.

SJ: Right, like the point where the cops are coming and he’s trying to jerk off in the locker room, but he might have hurt something down there.

DB: I think it was Day 5 when he realized what he could do, when he was trapped in the classroom with the bullies and he realizes he’s trapped but he can escape by just …

SJ: “Yep, I can just jerk off.”

DB: Right, it’s like a little bit of an action movie scene: are the bullies going to break in, or will he have an orgasm?

SJ: Ever come across an interviewer as damaged as the Georgetown recruiter guy?

DB: I have never come across anyone as damaged as that, thankfully. But we were trying to think of something like: you’re in an interview, what would be one of the worst things that could happen? You prepare for the day, you go through everything, all the questions memorized in your head, but the one thing you’re not prepared for is for this person to be just a well of emotions, a guy who came back to work a little too soon after this tragedy in his life. But thankfully, I’ve never come across anyone nearly that damaged for real.

SJ: Well, that’s good.

DB: What’s funny about the actor who plays him, Alan Turyk, we were shooting in Atlanta and he was already down there shooting 42, and he was playing this really awful, mean, racist character, and Alan was having a really hard time playing this person as long as he was. So he came in to read for the role and he was in such a dark place that he was just able to cry instantaneously.


(‘Premature’ official red-band trailer, via JoBlo)

SJ: Did you ever reach out to Bill Murray to cast him in the lead role, or was the idea of filming Bill with cum in his pants kind of a turn-off?

DB: *laughs* Actually, the role that Alan played (the Georgetown recruiter) was originally something I was hoping to approach Bill about. I actually know him, because I worked with Wes Anderson for about five years, and so I know Bill through him. He actually acted in the short film I had made, but I think he had already done me my one favor, so I don’t think he was going to come back and do it again.

SJ: You also did a TV series (FCU: Fact Checkers Unit). What’s more enjoyable and fulfilling for you: movies or TV?

DB: They both offer you different challenges. Movies are my first love though, because there’s just something nice about crafting a whole story over a set period.

For TV it’s something very different, and even though every episode of my series had its own little story, if I had to go back and do something again for TV, I would provide a longer arc for the characters. But that’s what’s so great about TV: letting a character really live and breathe for a long time, instead of knowing by the end of Act 1 they have to have that one moment. Because in movies there’s a formula: there’s an Act 1, Act 2, and Act 3, and all these little beats they have to hit. It’s nice to have a season or five for a character to really find his or herself.

Another good thing about TV is that it’s so fast, and the shoots are so quick, you don’t have time to think. You have to move and meet your five-day deadline. It presents a fun challenge, but movies are still definitely my first love.

SJ: Would you ever want to do something more mainstream, or is indie comedy your thing?

DB: Well, yeah. I think my dream is to make movies that people will see. I think that’s everyone’s dream, right? The next thing I’m working on is a little bigger in scope, a little bit less orgasmic. But IFC has done a fantastic job with this one — when they came on board, I was really excited because they had a clear vision on how to sell the movie, and I’m really thrilled with what they’ve done.

I grew up during the indie craze of the ‘90s, when tons of films were coming out in arthouse theaters all the time. Now things are very different, and the new arthouse theaters are TVs and VOD’s, and digital with iTunes. So how do you reach an audience now with all these movies that want to be seen? It’s a new format, so I was thrilled with how IFC handled it.

But I think if I get bigger and if I move into the studio role, I’d be looking for that ideal mix.

SJ: Yeah, that happy medium where a lot of people know of your film and go see it in theaters all across the country, but also having the freedom to craft something the way you would want. As opposed to writing something and having 15 different producers turn it into something totally different.

DB: Exactly. I was lucky I got to make the movie that I wanted to make, and the producers were great and let me do what I wanted for the most part. I was pretty clear about what I wanted to do and they were on board, thankfully.

Download Premature on iTunes here!

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Can Ken Jeong Carry an Entire Show? (Short Answer: Hell No) http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/can-ken-jeong-carry-an-entire-show-short-answer-hell-no/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/can-ken-jeong-carry-an-entire-show-short-answer-hell-no/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:15:08 +0000 DustinSeibert http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=263310 If you're psyched to see Dr. Ken dance around half-naked, and shift between "black" dialect and exaggerated Asian accents...you need to raise your comedic standards, dude.

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Thanks to 2009′s The Hangover, one-note “comedian” Zach Galifianakis developed a career that’s inexplicable to people like me who, y’know, actually enjoy people that are funny.

Also thanks to the same movie, pediatrician-turned-stand-up-comedian Ken Jeong made it on everyone’s radar; it was his third time as a real presence in a movie (following the superior Role Models from 2008 and 2007′s aiiiight Knocked Up). Tack on his role as Community‘s Señor Ben Chang — in which he provided that show’s best moment not involving Alison Brie’s cleavage — and Jeong was on a nice little career ascendancy around the turn of the decade…

…and then it quickly became clear that he didn’t seem to have a lot of range. I’ve never seen Jeong do much outside of three things: Dance like an Asian version of Michael Jackson on Red Bull, mock “black” dialect, and basically sell out his people with an easy go-to Korean accent. And it turns out he’s been at this schtick since well before he was famous.

So with the news that he’s getting his own MTV show called Ken Jeong Made Me Do It, in which he’ll play some version of himself, I wonder if he can carry it long enough for people to really care. I get the feeling that MTV viewers will be like, “Ooo, he’s yelling and half-naked again. Awesome!” before completely tuning out halfway through the season. Most likely, his show will go the way of the Cavemen sitcom — an extremely ill-advised attempt to extend something that worked perfectly in short bursts.

Seriously though, they’re giving this guy a television show:

God damn it.

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Celebrity Foreign Commercials http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/celebrity-foreign-commercials/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/celebrity-foreign-commercials/#comments Thu, 27 Feb 2014 18:01:27 +0000 Lyndsey Saul http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=259730 Arnie hawking a Japanese energy drink may be the BEST Arnie you'll ever see...

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You’ve seen them before they were famous – now check out your favorite stars pitching products overseas!

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Vote Reynolds. Vote Solo http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/vote-reynolds-vote-solo/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/vote-reynolds-vote-solo/#comments Tue, 20 Dec 2011 19:11:19 +0000 Defy Media http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=240493

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Tom Cruise: Totally Not Creepy http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/tom-cruise-totally-not-creepy/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/tom-cruise-totally-not-creepy/#comments Mon, 19 Dec 2011 22:54:22 +0000 Screen Junkies http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=240330

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Links Away: Will Ferrell Loves Milwaukee http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/links-away-will-ferrell-loves-milwaukee/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/links-away-will-ferrell-loves-milwaukee/#comments Sat, 17 Dec 2011 01:30:35 +0000 Screen Junkies http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=240043
Will Ferrell's Old Milwaukee Commercials - Watch MoreFunny Videos   A F**king Infographic (GodBlessTheInternets) The Harry Potter Gingerbread House (unreality) The 30 Rock Season Premiere! (AOLTV) 25 Questions For Sherlock Holmes (MovieFone) Will Ferrell In A Spanish Movie? (FilmDrunk) The Best Mario IRL Pics Ever (Smosh) The Best Movie Trolling Moments (SocialHype) Miley Cyrus Pinches Her Nipple (CelebJihad) Eva Green Is 300: Artemisia (SlashFilm) Jimmy Buffer: Best Announcer Ever (CagePotato) How to Stay Legit At Your Christmas Party (Holytaco) Ashley C Hotness (GorillaMask) New England Patriot Cheerleader Hotness (DonChavez) R Kelly Wants To Take You On A Cruise (JustAGuyThing) Really Really Expensive Christmas Gifts (MadeMan) The Hottest Babe You'll See Today (DoubleViking) David Cross Hated Alvin And The Chipmunks (MovieLine) Simple Ways To Control Your Anger (ModernMan) 3 Movies You Should Watch This Christmas (TheCelebrityCafe) Marisa Miller Hotness (Ehowa) The Funniest Viral Videos Ever (HuffComedy) Denise Milani Hotness (Gunaxin) The Worst Movies Of 2011 (NextMovie) The 12 Best Christmas Beers (GuySpeed) People Of Walmart Gallery (TotallyCrap) Why People Don't Like David Stern (TotalProSports) Jimmy Fallon Returns To SNL (WarmingGlow) Brooke Lynette Hotness (CagePotato) Sofia Vergara Hotness (TuVez)  

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Will Ferrell’s Old Milwaukee Commercials – Watch MoreFunny Videos
 

A F**king Infographic (GodBlessTheInternets)

The Harry Potter Gingerbread House (unreality)

The 30 Rock Season Premiere! (AOLTV)

25 Questions For Sherlock Holmes (MovieFone)

Will Ferrell In A Spanish Movie? (FilmDrunk)

The Best Mario IRL Pics Ever (Smosh)

The Best Movie Trolling Moments (SocialHype)

Miley Cyrus Pinches Her Nipple (CelebJihad)

Eva Green Is 300: Artemisia (SlashFilm)

Jimmy Buffer: Best Announcer Ever (CagePotato)

How to Stay Legit At Your Christmas Party (Holytaco)

Ashley C Hotness (GorillaMask)

New England Patriot Cheerleader Hotness (DonChavez)

R Kelly Wants To Take You On A Cruise (JustAGuyThing)

Really Really Expensive Christmas Gifts (MadeMan)

The Hottest Babe You’ll See Today (DoubleViking)

David Cross Hated Alvin And The Chipmunks (MovieLine)

Simple Ways To Control Your Anger (ModernMan)

3 Movies You Should Watch This Christmas (TheCelebrityCafe)

Marisa Miller Hotness (Ehowa)

The Funniest Viral Videos Ever (HuffComedy)

Denise Milani Hotness (Gunaxin)

The Worst Movies Of 2011 (NextMovie)

The 12 Best Christmas Beers (GuySpeed)

People Of Walmart Gallery (TotallyCrap)

Why People Don’t Like David Stern (TotalProSports)

Jimmy Fallon Returns To SNL (WarmingGlow)

Brooke Lynette Hotness (CagePotato)

Sofia Vergara Hotness (TuVez)

 

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Links Away: Neo Downloads Manners http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/links-away-neo-downloads-manners/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/links-away-neo-downloads-manners/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2011 01:42:39 +0000 Screen Junkies http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=239382 X Factor Eliminations Gets Dramatic (AOLTV) New Years Eve: The Most Important Movie Ever? (Moviefone) New Battleship Trailer Has Lots of Explosions (FilmDrunk) Butterfield 8 By Daniel Mann (TheCelebrityCafe) Secret Celebrity Christmas Lists (Smosh) Left 4 Dead Fan Film Trailer (Unreality) Todays UFC Weigh-Ins (CagePotato) You Can Be Arrested For Planking Now (Holytaco) Panty Party! For Female Students! (SocialHype) Courtney Hotness (GorillaMask) The Periodic Table For Swearing (ModernMan) Chadwick Boeman Is...Jackie Robinson (SlashFilm) Charlotte Ross Hollywood Hotness (Ehowa) The Many Faces Of Kristen Wiig (HuffComedy) Find Your Inner 12 Year Old With 'Battleship' (Movieline) Girlfriend Ginger Beat Down (ForkParty) The Hottest Cake Designs Ever (Gunaxin) Jonah Hills Funniest Moments (NextMovie) Lindsay Lohan Playboy Pics Leaked (Coed) The Greatest Unofficial Angry Birds Trailers Ever (Guyspeed) The Sexiest Women of Partying (TotalProSports) The Best Series' On Netflix Instant (WarmingGlow) Courtney Stodden ISN"T 17 (NSFW)  

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X Factor Eliminations Gets Dramatic (AOLTV)

New Years Eve: The Most Important Movie Ever? (Moviefone)

New Battleship Trailer Has Lots of Explosions (FilmDrunk)

Butterfield 8 By Daniel Mann (TheCelebrityCafe)

Secret Celebrity Christmas Lists (Smosh)

Left 4 Dead Fan Film Trailer (Unreality)

Todays UFC Weigh-Ins (CagePotato)

You Can Be Arrested For Planking Now (Holytaco)

Panty Party! For Female Students! (SocialHype)

Courtney Hotness (GorillaMask)

The Periodic Table For Swearing (ModernMan)

Chadwick Boeman Is…Jackie Robinson (SlashFilm)

Charlotte Ross Hollywood Hotness (Ehowa)

The Many Faces Of Kristen Wiig (HuffComedy)

Find Your Inner 12 Year Old With ‘Battleship’ (Movieline)

Girlfriend Ginger Beat Down (ForkParty)

The Hottest Cake Designs Ever (Gunaxin)

Jonah Hills Funniest Moments (NextMovie)

Lindsay Lohan Playboy Pics Leaked (Coed)

The Greatest Unofficial Angry Birds Trailers Ever (Guyspeed)

The Sexiest Women of Partying (TotalProSports)

The Best Series‘ On Netflix Instant (WarmingGlow)

Courtney Stodden ISN”T 17 (NSFW)

 

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Links Away: Camel Punch http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/links-away-camel-punch/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/links-away-camel-punch/#comments Thu, 01 Dec 2011 02:21:11 +0000 Screen Junkies http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=238326 Jon Hamm Increasingly Funny (AOLTV) It's OK To Not Love The Muppets (Moviefone) Perfect Clothes In Hot Babes (TheCelebrityCafe) 15 Harry Potter GIFs (Smosh) Batgirl Begins (Unreality) Shannon Ihrke Hotness (CagePotato) Santa Loves Guns (Holytaco) Lariya Daniels Hotness (GorillaMask) Things Guys Can't Get Away With (ModernMan) The Hottest Babe You'll See Today (DoubleViking) Bad Habits That Make You Healthy (MadeMan) Bridget Jones...Baby (SlashFilm) Heather Graham Hotness (Ehowa) 7 Sites You Should Be Wasting Time On (HuffComedy) Critically Acclaimed Movie Jokes (MovieLine) Dog Grocery Shops Alone (ForkParty) Kickass Mexican Music (Gunaxin) The Best Trailers of 2010 (NextMovie) Erin Heatherton Hotness (Coed) Epic Dance Disasters (Gunaxin) Maria Kirilenko Hotness (TotalProSports) The Best Of Patrice O'Neal (WarmingGlow) Pippa Middletons Hot Ass (NSFW)  

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Jon Hamm Increasingly Funny (AOLTV)

It’s OK To Not Love The Muppets (Moviefone)

Perfect Clothes In Hot Babes (TheCelebrityCafe)

15 Harry Potter GIFs (Smosh)

Batgirl Begins (Unreality)

Shannon Ihrke Hotness (CagePotato)

Santa Loves Guns (Holytaco)

Lariya Daniels Hotness (GorillaMask)

Things Guys Can’t Get Away With (ModernMan)

The Hottest Babe You’ll See Today (DoubleViking)

Bad Habits That Make You Healthy (MadeMan)

Bridget Jones…Baby (SlashFilm)

Heather Graham Hotness (Ehowa)

7 Sites You Should Be Wasting Time On (HuffComedy)

Critically Acclaimed Movie Jokes (MovieLine)

Dog Grocery Shops Alone (ForkParty)

Kickass Mexican Music (Gunaxin)

The Best Trailers of 2010 (NextMovie)

Erin Heatherton Hotness (Coed)

Epic Dance Disasters (Gunaxin)

Maria Kirilenko Hotness (TotalProSports)

The Best Of Patrice O’Neal (WarmingGlow)

Pippa Middletons Hot Ass (NSFW)

 

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Links Away: World of Chuck Norris http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/links-away-world-of-chuck-norris/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/links-away-world-of-chuck-norris/#comments Wed, 23 Nov 2011 02:10:26 +0000 Screen Junkies http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=237740   What you didn't know about Ricki Lake (AOLTV) The Muppets vs Hugo (Moviefone) Expendables 2 Poster! (FilmDrunk) The Top 10 Muppet Moments (TheCelebrityCafe) The Craziest Finger Nails in the World (Smosh) Stormtroopers, Supervillains, and Spartans (Unreality) Ronda Rousey Hotness (CagePotato) Black Friday Combat Tactics (Holytaco) Chelsea Hotness (GorillaMask) The Eddie Murphy Quiz (ModernMan) Best Cleavage You'll See Today (DoubleViking) The 10 Best Android Apps (MadeMan) James Cameron on Titanic 3D (SlashFilm) Mila Kunis Hotness (Ehowa) What Black Friday Ads Really Say (HuffComedy) When Rappers Review The Muppets (Movieline) Hilarious Toddlers and Tiaras Screenshots (ForkParty) Hungry For Jennifer Lawrence (Gunaxin) Muppet Spinoffs We Need To See (NextMovie) Natalie Gauvreau Bikini Pics (Coed) Macho Men 101 (GuySpeed) Mike Strahans Birthday Celebration (TotalProSports) Robert Wagner Arrested! (WarmingGlow) Madalina Ghenea Hotness (NSFW)  

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What you didn’t know about Ricki Lake (Moviefone)

Expendables 2 Poster! (FilmDrunk)

The Top 10 Muppet Moments (TheCelebrityCafe)

The Craziest Finger Nails in the World (Smosh)

Stormtroopers, Supervillains, and Spartans (Unreality)

Ronda Rousey Hotness (CagePotato)

Black Friday Combat Tactics (Holytaco)

Chelsea Hotness (GorillaMask)

The Eddie Murphy Quiz (ModernMan)

Best Cleavage You’ll See Today (DoubleViking)

The 10 Best Android Apps (MadeMan)

James Cameron on Titanic 3D (SlashFilm)

Mila Kunis Hotness (Ehowa)

What Black Friday Ads Really Say (HuffComedy)

When Rappers Review The Muppets (Movieline)

Hilarious Toddlers and Tiaras Screenshots (ForkParty)

Hungry For Jennifer Lawrence (Gunaxin)

Muppet Spinoffs We Need To See (NextMovie)

Natalie Gauvreau Bikini Pics (Coed)

Macho Men 101 (GuySpeed)

Mike Strahans Birthday Celebration (TotalProSports)

Robert Wagner Arrested! (WarmingGlow)

Madalina Ghenea Hotness (NSFW)

 

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Troy Fail http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/troy-fail/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/troy-fail/#comments Fri, 18 Nov 2011 19:56:33 +0000 Screen Junkies http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=237468

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Bach 1000 http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/bach-1000/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/bach-1000/#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 17:55:57 +0000 Screen Junkies http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=237068

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Funny cause it’s True http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/funny-cause-its-true/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/funny-cause-its-true/#comments Mon, 14 Nov 2011 17:31:48 +0000 Screen Junkies http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=236580

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The Wizard of BAMF http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/the-wizard-of-bamf/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/the-wizard-of-bamf/#comments Wed, 09 Nov 2011 18:18:09 +0000 Screen Junkies http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=235966

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The Travoltee http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/the-travoltee/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/the-travoltee/#comments Tue, 08 Nov 2011 17:29:12 +0000 Screen Junkies http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=235688

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Ratner’s Words of Wisdom http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/ratners-words-of-wisdom/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/ratners-words-of-wisdom/#comments Mon, 07 Nov 2011 20:28:20 +0000 Screen Junkies http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=235606

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PBR Like a Bossss http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/pbr-like-a-bossss/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/pbr-like-a-bossss/#comments Fri, 04 Nov 2011 16:34:29 +0000 Screen Junkies http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=235368

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Harrison Flockhart http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/harrison-flockhart/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/harrison-flockhart/#comments Tue, 01 Nov 2011 00:03:43 +0000 Screen Junkies http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=234665

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http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/actors-directors/harrison-flockhart/feed/ 0 Harrison Ford, star of “Cowboys and Aliens,” and wife Calista Flockhart dressed up as an 80′s hair band couple for Haloween in Brentwood