Screen Junkies » Groundhog Day http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Tue, 23 Sep 2014 20:52:22 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 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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‘Groundhog Day’ Headed To Broadway http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/groundhog-day-headed-to-broadway/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/groundhog-day-headed-to-broadway/#comments Wed, 15 Jan 2014 19:41:15 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=258729 Be prepared to hear "I Got You Babe" over and over again.

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Be prepared to hear “I Got You Babe” over and over again. Composer Tim Minchin has teamed up with Groundhog Day screenwriter Danny Rubin to adapt the 1993 comedy for the stage. Though the plot will involve a weatherman living the same day over and over again, don’t expect it to skew very closely to its inspiration. Minchin concedes, “it would be impossible to try to translate the style and tone of the movie to stage.”

Whatever. As long as there’s a groundhog trained to tap-dance, I’ll be there. (THR)

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It’s Groundhog Day, So Here Are Our 7 Favorite Film And TV Rodents http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/its-groundhog-day-so-here-are-our-7-favorite-film-and-tv-rodents/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/its-groundhog-day-so-here-are-our-7-favorite-film-and-tv-rodents/#comments Thu, 02 Feb 2012 15:00:32 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=244286 I'd let these guys crawl up my toilet any day. It's not just gators that do that, folks.

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Groundhog Day is fast approaching, and America is prepared to meet it, as always, with a collective, “Huh.” Rather than just pay lip service to this high holiday, I would like to take a moment and discuss what Groundhog Day means to me. Every year, Groundhog Day serves as a reminder to take a little time out of my day and appreciate all the rodents that make life worth living.

Sadly, I don’t have many rodent friends in real life. I keep a clean house and largely steer clear of Koreatown, so most of my rodent encounters are in the movies. But that doesn’t mean they’re any less profound. Here are five furry rodents that bring me enough joy to fight off the crippling pain of the nightmare that is my life.

Fievel Mousekowitz – An American Tail

I’ll be honest, when I was introduced to Fievel in 1986, I was six years old and the Cold War was still in full swing. Needless to say, as a red-blooded American boy, there was no one on this earth I hated more than that Commie rat bastard.

However, a few years later, Rocky IV taught me that we all can change, and as I grew, I realized that not only was it time to forgive, but that An American Tail took place in 1885, long before such a thing as communism even existed. As such, I began to empathize and even like Fievel as a symbol of not only the American Dream, but as a an adorable mouse, albeit a filthy Russian one.

I’ll be honest. I still have pretty mixed feelings about Fievel Mousekowitz, even now. But I want to stop hating him for being Russian, so putting him on this list is a small step for me.

Theodore the Chipmunk – Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

I’m not THAT partial to Theodore, but I wanted to include a Chipmunk, and I find the other two insufferable. Alvin is a Paris Hilton-type who would probably wither up and die if he didn’t get attention for three seconds, and Simon is like a furry Woody Allen, which is better than a regular Woody Allen, but still not that great.

Theodore is fat and dumb, just like most of my friends, so it’s pretty clear that I have a type. Also, Theodore’s innocence would make it easy for me to exploit him, which I would definitely do.

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http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/its-groundhog-day-so-here-are-our-7-favorite-film-and-tv-rodents/feed/ 0 fievel ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE SQUEAKUEL
Because We’re Idiots: 9 Celebrities Photoshopped As Groundhogs http://www.screenjunkies.com/gallery/because-were-idiots-9-celebrities-photoshopped-as-groundhogs/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/gallery/because-were-idiots-9-celebrities-photoshopped-as-groundhogs/#comments Thu, 02 Feb 2012 14:00:09 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=gallery&p=244316 They cast large shadows.

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It’s Groundhog Day. Which means that a flabby rodent is the most famous being in the nation for one day. No. Not Snooki. I refer, of course, to Punxsatawny Phil, the furry soothsayer who decides whether or not people in the East freeze thier balls off for another six weeks. That’s power.

We figured, since he’s so famous, what would happen if some other well known celebs traded places with Phil for the day. Here are the creepy, creepy results. Dreamworks Animation, please don’t steal this idea.

Want more funny photos?

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9 ‘Days’ That Make Reliving ‘Groundhog Day’ Look Easy http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/9-days-that-make-reliving-groundhog-day-look-easy/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/9-days-that-make-reliving-groundhog-day-look-easy/#comments Wed, 02 Feb 2011 21:48:13 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=24174 The filmmakers chose Groundhog Day because they felt it was the most mundane. And while spending an eternity stuck in Punxsutawney would surely be maddening, it could be worse. Here are 9 'Days' that make being stuck in Groundhog Day look good by comparison.

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It’s Groundhog Day. And unless you’re some sort of Bill Murray-hating mutant, the holiday invokes fond memories of the classic Harold Ramis film about Phil Conners, an arrogant weatherman who is forced to relive the same day over and over again.

The filmmakers chose the holiday because they felt it was the most mundane. And while spending an eternity stuck in Punxsutawney would surely be maddening, it could be worse. Here are 9 days that make being stuck in Groundhog Day look good by comparison.

Training Day

It’s one thing to be stuck in small-town Pennsylvania. Unless you’re over the age of 60, the undeniable quaintness can’t make up for the overwhelming boredom. That being said, Punxsutawney seems delightful when compared to the drug-infested, gang-controlled world of South Central L.A. depicted in Training Day. On top of the dangers inherent in any police job, you’d have to wake up every da knowing your partner is a corrupt bastard who has no problem killing you. Of course, I guess you could always call in sick and go do something fun instead of going to work. But since a blizzard blocks Phil from leaving Punxsutawney, I imagine the same rules apply in this scenario, and an endless traffic jam would keep you from heading to the beach.

The Longest Day

Yeah, spending eternity in Groundhog Day would be lik fighting a never-ending battle, metaphorically speaking. That said, it sure beats the hell out of fighting an actual battle, and that’s exactly what you’d be doing if you were stuck in The Longest Day. Watching your friends die as you stormed the same beach day after day would be horrifying. But at least you wouldn’t have to hear Sonny and Cher sing “I Got You Babe” every time you woke up.

The Day the Earth Stood Still

I’m fond of the original version of this film, and I’m not going to ruin it by watching the remake. (Spoiler Alert) That being said, if I’m going to relive one day over and over again, it better not be the day when Earth loses all of its electrical power. I’ve got an XBox to play, you alien bitch!

Day of the Dead

On the one hand, spending the rest of your existence fighting zombie hordes would be a horrible thing. But if you’re in a zombie apocalypse, you’re pretty much stuck in that situation regardless. At least with the Groundhog Day scenario, you have the piece of mind of knowing that if you are bitten by the undead, you’ll wake up with a fresh start. Even so, I’ll take Groundhog Day.

The Day After Tomorrow

Watching environmental disasters unfold and cause massive amounts of destruction would actually be kind of cool if you knew that no matter what happened, you’d wake up again the next day. However, would you really want to spend day after day listening to the same shitty dialogue? It’s a pretty horrifying thought. On a side note, the plot to Groundhog Day is actually more believable than The Day After Tomorrow.

Knight and Day

Imagine waking up day after day knowing that you had to hang out with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Yeah, not a pleasant thought, is it? Suddenly, Ned Ryerson seems a whole lot more tolerable. He might try to sell you insurance, but at least he won’t try to convert you to Scientology.

Remains of the Day

You think small-town Pennsylvania is dull? Try spending your days as a lonely butler in the English countryside. Oh, by the way, it’s the early 1930’s, your boss is a Nazi sympathizer who treats you with contempt, and the woman you love (whom you work with every day) is going to marry some asshole. At least in Groundhog Day, Phil gets laid from time to time.

Daylight

What’s worse than being stuck in a tunnel that’s about to be flooded? Having an over-the-hill Sylvester Stallone as your only chance of escape. And even if he does get you to safety, you’re just going to wake up in the same situation the next day. It’s like Sisyphus pushing his boulder up the hill, except the myth of Sisyphus is a lot more entertaining than Daylight.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Liquid-Metal cyborgs, mental institutions, nuclear annihilation: Terminator 2: Judgment Day has it all. But does being hunted by a robot for all eternity sound like fun to you? Unless it’s some sort of sexbot, the answer is no. Although now that I think about it, being hunted by a sexbot is going on my bucket list.

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The ‘Repeaters’ Trailer is Like ‘Groundhog Day’ Without All the Laughter http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/the-repeaters-trailer-is-like-groundhog-day-without-all-the-laughter/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/the-repeaters-trailer-is-like-groundhog-day-without-all-the-laughter/#comments Wed, 01 Sep 2010 09:51:16 +0000 Reza F. I like Groundhog Day, but I hate to laugh. If only there was a movie that met my needs! Finally, my prayers have been answered thanks to Carl Bessai’s Repeaters....

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I like Groundhog Day, but I hate to laugh. If only there was a movie that met my needs!

Finally, my prayers have been answered thanks to Carl Bessai’s Repeaters.

The film plays with the Groundhog Day stuck-in-a-time-loop concept, but twists it into a “aggressive, fast-paced thriller “that addresses the morals of starting over with a clean slate every day in some of the most extreme ways.

If you ask me, this concept is long overdue. Every time I watch Groundhog Day, I wonder why Bill Murray doesn’t lash out at the townspeople in a violent, consequence-free orgy of blood and mayhem. And I’ve found myself pondering that question on a regular basis ever since my doctor started weaning me off Wellbutrin. (First Showing)

Watch the trailer for Repeaters, the evil Groundhog Day, after the jump…

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All Doug Liman Needs is ‘Kill’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/all-doug-liman-needs-is-kill/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/all-doug-liman-needs-is-kill/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Doug Liman is officially on board to direct All You Need Is Kill, Empire Online is reporting.  Based on the 2004 sci-fi novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, the film will follow the story of a soldier who is killed while fighting aliens, but finds himself caught in a time loop, reliving the events leading up to his death over and over again. With each subsequent death, the character improves his skills while attempting to break the cycle. This really makes me mad. Warner Bros. acted like I was nuts when I pitched them my idea for a mash-up of Starship Troopers and Groundhog Day. They kept telling me things like "you're not authorized to be in here" and "put your pants back on." Well, we'll see who's crazy when they get a call from my lawyer, Robert Kardashian.

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Doug Liman is officially on board to direct All You Need Is Kill, Empire Online is reporting.  Based on the 2004 sci-fi novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, the film will follow the story of a soldier who is killed whil fighting aliens, but finds himself caught in a time loop, reliving the events leading up to his death over and over again. With each subsequent death, the character improves his skills while attempting to break the cycle.

This really makes me mad. Warner Bros. acted like I was nuts when I pitched them my idea for a mash-up of Starship Troopers and Groundhog Day. They kept telling me things like "you’re not authorized to be in here" and "put your pants back on." Well, we’ll see who’s crazy when they get a call from my lawyer, Robert Kardashian.

 

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