Screen Junkies » zac efron http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Sun, 14 Sep 2014 20:59:28 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 Zac Efron To Be A Lawyer This Time In John Grisham’s ‘The Associate’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/zac-efron-to-be-a-lawyer-this-time-in-john-grishams-the-associate/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/zac-efron-to-be-a-lawyer-this-time-in-john-grishams-the-associate/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 18:31:15 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=260813 The torch is passed.

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With Tom Cruise now too aged to convincingly play a young law school grad and Shia LaBeouf not famous anymore, the onus of starring in John Grisham legal thrillers falls to Zac Efron. The hobo punching bag and Neighbors star has signed on to an adaptation of Grisham’s The Associate, in which he’ll play a young law graduate blackmailed into spying on high-profile cases at a large law firm. These spying duties will include alternately sneaking around, running full speed through the hallways, and frantically pressing elevator buttons. (THR)

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Zac Efron Got Punched In The Face By The Homeless http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/zac-efron-got-punched-in-the-face-by-the-homeless/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/zac-efron-got-punched-in-the-face-by-the-homeless/#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2014 19:54:50 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=260583 That awkward moment when you get punched in the mouth by a hobo.

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Okay. Okay. I know this makes it seem like Zac Efron was buying drugs but hear him out. I’m sure he has a perfectly sound explanation for getting punched in the face by a homeless guy at 3am in a sketchy part of downtown Los Angeles.

As Zac tells it, he had innocently run out of gas for his car that is fueled by gasoline and was very politely waiting for a tow truck when the trouble began. It was at this point that he innocently hucked a glass bottle at some homeless gentlemen who in turn drew offense and asked if Zac would like to engage them in fisticuffs. However, Zac’s bodyguard was also on the scene and is paid good money to beat up the homeless on Zac’s behalf. While he was distracted by punching two of the homeless men, a third slipped by Zac’s bodyguard and was able to hit Zac in the mouth. Police arrived on the scene shortly after and made no arrests. They also had Zac autograph some High School Musical basketball before allowing the star to drive away in his gas-less vehicle. (TMZ)

 

 

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‘That Awkward Moment’ Gives Us The Zac Efron Bro Film That We’ve Been Missing http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/that-awkward-moment-gives-us-the-zac-efron-bro-film-that-weve-been-missing/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/that-awkward-moment-gives-us-the-zac-efron-bro-film-that-weve-been-missing/#comments Wed, 16 Oct 2013 16:50:34 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=257556 When your bros get girlfriends, that's against the bro code (or something. I don't really know what I'm saying.)

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While Zac Efron has been enjoying a steady ascent in terms of the roles he’s been taking, he took a few months off to just hang with bros, ya know? If you don’t understand what that’s about, then you’re…you’re not gettin’ it, man.

That Awkward Moment is a terribly-named film that surounds Efron and his buddies as his relationship with a girl evolves from casual to dating.

Seriously, that seems to be the premise of the movie. Anyway, it actually seems sorta funny. Watch and agree with me.

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Seth Rogen Experiences The Downside Of Living Next To Dickheads In ‘Neighbors’ Trailer http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/seth-rogen-experiences-the-downside-of-living-next-to-dickheads-in-neighbors-trailer/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/seth-rogen-experiences-the-downside-of-living-next-to-dickheads-in-neighbors-trailer/#comments Tue, 03 Sep 2013 17:36:36 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=256745 This must be worse than living next to Justin Bieber.

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Set in a fictional reality where a rowdy fraternity is allowed to move into a residential area and Seth Rogen is able to woo and impregnate a hottie like Rose Byrne, Neighbors tells the story of a young couple battling the Greeks next door.

Zac Efron and Dave Franco play the douchey frat neighbors whose wild parties, De Niro impersonations, and sperm upset the once quiet neighborhood. All that and I’m sure they’re playing “Blurred Lines” non-stop. You just know.

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Garry Marshall’s ‘New Year’s Eve’ Poster Seems To Focus On Homeless Hector Elizondo http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/garry-marshalls-new-years-eve-poster-seems-to-focus-on-homeless-hector-elizondo/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/garry-marshalls-new-years-eve-poster-seems-to-focus-on-homeless-hector-elizondo/#comments Fri, 14 Oct 2011 19:29:26 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=232479 It's nice to watch other couples go through the same things we do, like fights with Josh Duhamel and difficulty getting Sarah Jessica Parker pregnant.

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Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve Poster is making the rounds today, and my retinas are seared from all the star power!

Among others, the poster proudly boasts Abigail Breslin AND Til Schweiger! That’s right, the German actor and director of over 50 films will be popping up to bring some diversity (granted, European diversity) to the ensemble cast which also features:

Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Hector Elizondo, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hilary Swank and Sofia Vergara.

The film also seems to star “champagne” and “backlit dancing” in their breakout roles.

Because it’s Friday and so little real news breaks on Friday, let’s try to guess the coupling here:

Seth Meyers and Halle Berry

Zac Efron and Jessica Biel

Ludacris, Robert De Niro, and Abigail Breslin

Til Schweiger and any woman with two eyes and a heart

Sarah Jessica Parker and Hector “The Hitman” Elizondo

Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel (They’ll have the cutest babies!!!!)

And since I’m pretty much over this exercise, let’s say the rest just hook up in a giant orgy over the end credits.

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Seth Rogen And Zac Efron, Together At Last For A Frat Comedy http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/seth-rogen-and-zac-efron-together-at-last-for-a-frat-comedy/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/seth-rogen-and-zac-efron-together-at-last-for-a-frat-comedy/#comments Fri, 22 Jul 2011 23:53:30 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=221622 They balance out to an average of "cute."

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Universal, deciding they can ignore the cries of the masses no more, is about to close on a pitch that would team hearthrob Zac Efron up with, uh, everyman Seth Rogen for an untitled R-rated comedy that Deadline claims has “the tone of Old School.” Hmm. Interesting.

The plot is as follows:

Rogen plays a regular guy who lives near an alpha male fraternity house. Efron is a member of the fraternity, whose raucous behavior wreaks havoc on the other guy’s family life.

Of course, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will serve as producers of the project, which was scripted by Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien. It’s thought that Rogen will be making a cool $8 million for this project, which seems like an awful lot of money to act like yourself, but I’m just a writer.

It’s nice to see Efron bust out of the pretty-boy mold with both this and The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman. Maybe this hope for this guy yet.

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McConaughey, Maguire, Efron, And Vergara Are All Gonna Get With ‘The Paperboy’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/mcconaughey-maguire-efron-and-vergara-are-all-gonna-get-with-the-paperboy/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/mcconaughey-maguire-efron-and-vergara-are-all-gonna-get-with-the-paperboy/#comments Fri, 13 May 2011 18:05:21 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=212012 Once again, Tobey Maguire is the least attractive star in a film.

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As today’s casting news indicates, Pedro Almodovar can reel in the A-list even as a lowly producer. Matthew McConaughey, Tobey Maguire, Zac Efron, and Sophia Vergara have all enlisted for The Paperboy, an adaptation of a 1995 novel that follows a Miami reporter who investigates the incarceration of a death row inmate. Lee Daniels will be pulling director duty on this one.

Alomodovar’s capacity as only producer is somewhat surprising, given that he has worked with The Paperboy author Pet Dexter developing this project over the past decade. However, the project seems to be left in capable hands with Daniels, who has Precious and the upcoming Selma to his name.

The roles corresponding to the A-list actors have not been disclosed, but I think that McConaughey would make a good journalist, Tobey Maguire is a very convincing sex offender, Zac Efron would make a remarkable murder victim, and Sophia Vergara could be either a sultry Latina stripper or a down-on-her-luck, nude adult film actress.

In case it’s not clear, I’m not terribly familiar with the source material. (THR)

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Zac Efron Brings An Anthony Mandler To A ‘Gunfight’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/zac-efron-brings-an-anthony-mandler-to-a-gunfight/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/zac-efron-brings-an-anthony-mandler-to-a-gunfight/#comments Wed, 27 Apr 2011 04:15:05 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=209140 We're one step closer to Zac Efron: Non-Believable Action Star.

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Anthony Mandler is making sure Zac Efron will Die In A Gunfight. The music video and commercial director has the unenviable task of making Zac Efron appear tough on camera. In the film, he’ll play a fight-prone young man with a death wish who gets involved with the daughter of his father’s enemy. Good luck, Anthony. You’re going to blow take after take trying to teach Efron to fight in a non-Westside Story manner.

Curious though why a gun would be required in this fight. Those things can be heavy and it’s very hard to maintain a proper jazz-hand while holding one. I’d expect this violent behavior from Corbin Bleu, but not Zac. Never Zac. (Deadline)

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Taylor Swift To Bring Her So-So Voice To ‘The Lorax’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/taylor-swift-to-bring-her-so-so-voice-to-the-lorax/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/taylor-swift-to-bring-her-so-so-voice-to-the-lorax/#comments Thu, 17 Mar 2011 18:55:28 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=202191 You know what 'The Lorax' needs? Romance!

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Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” is a classic children’s book that teaches kids to be more mindful of the natural world. Taylor Swift, on the other hand, teaches kids about drawing hearts on composition books. Now these two forces will collide, as Taylor Swift lends her voice to the upcoming 3D computer animated Dr. Seuss adaptation The Lorax.

She’s joining a pretty solid cast that includes Danny DeVito as the titular Lorax, Ed Helms as the Once’ler, Zac Efron as “Ted, the young boy who searched for the Lorax,” Rob Riggle as King O’Hare and Betty White as Grammy Norma. Swift herself will be playing Audrey, Ted’s love interest. Man, I wonder what Dr. Seuss would think of the idea of adding a “love interest” to his stories. He’d probably write a really angry rhyming couplet about it. (via Deadline)

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Movie That Features Zac Efron Getting Pummeled Now Has A Director http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/movie-that-features-zac-efron-getting-pummeled-now-has-a-director/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/movie-that-features-zac-efron-getting-pummeled-now-has-a-director/#comments Mon, 14 Mar 2011 22:55:04 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=201603 That Efron won't be pretty no more.

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Commercial director Fredrik Bond will be helming the Zac Efron vehicle The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, which is a promising title, considering Zac Efron plays the role of Charlie Countryman. In the film, Charlie travels to Europe, only to fall in love with a girl who is “owned” by the mob. Since Zac Efron’s love knows no bounds, he withstands incessant beatings in his attempts to woo and protect her. I’m getting pretty fired up about this movie!

The film will be Bond’s first feature, despite having been attached to an English remake of The Host and an adaptation of the comic book “Hack/Slash.” Cross your fingers that he’s a heavily influenced by ultra-violent Asian films and torture porn. That Efron won’t be pretty no more. (Playlist)

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Zac Efron Takes Intriguing Role, Shocks World http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/zac-efron-takes-intriguing-role-shocks-world/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/zac-efron-takes-intriguing-role-shocks-world/#comments Fri, 11 Feb 2011 20:55:08 +0000 Dave Horwitz http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=26479 Zac Efron is branching out into grittier territory with the dark action comedy 'The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman'. Tweens, start fashioning your fake IDs.

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Zac Efron, best known for crowd pleasing fare like the surprisingly good 17 Again and Hairspray is branching out into grittier territory with the action comedy The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman.”>Zac Efron, best known for crowd pleasing fare like the surprisingly good 17 Again and Hairspray is branching out into grittier territory with the action comedy The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman. The film concerns a man who loses his mother, goes to Europe to find himself, falls for a girl, finds out the girl “belongs” to the head of a violent crime family, and must fight for not only her honor, but also their lives. Wow. That’s a far cry from High School Musical, ain’t it?

The film, scripted by Matt Drake, writer of the upcoming Todd Phillips/Joel Silver produced comedy Project X, is set up at Mandate Pictures.  With this project, and the start of his own production company (Ninjas Runnin’ Wild), Efron seems to be entering a new phase of his career. A phase where his billions of screaming tween fans won’t be old enough to be admitted to see his movies in the theaters without a guardian, but will find a way regardless. Love always finds a way. (The Playlist)

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Katherine Heigl To Serve As Sub-Halle Berry http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/katherine-heigl-to-serve-as-sub-halle-berry/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/katherine-heigl-to-serve-as-sub-halle-berry/#comments Mon, 31 Jan 2011 18:34:13 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=23465 Halle Berry is being replaced by America's sweetheart Katherine Heigl (in a movie, not in life).

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The world has been breathlessly awaiting the romantic pair of Halle Berry and Jon Bon Jovi in the upcoming film New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately for the world (and fortunately for Halle Berry, hey-o!), Halle Berry is being replaced by America’s sweetheart Katherine Heigl (maybe she can also star in a parody “Nude Year’s Eve“).

Apparently, Heigl just adopted some poor kid and was looking for a project that wouldn’t require a huge time commitment. New Year’s Eve fits the bill, since as a follow up to Garry Marshall’s surprise hit Valentine’s Day it’s a big ensemble piece. Just a couple pinches of Heigl, as opposed to a whole dish. Dunno why I went with a food metaphor but whatever. New Year’s Eve will also star (deep breath) Robert De Niro, Sofia Vergara, Russell Peters, Hilary Swank, Ice Cube, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Josh Duhamel, Sarah Jessica Parker, Abigail Breslin, Seth Meyers, Jessica Biel and Til Schweiger. (via Deadline)

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Zac Efron And Morgan Freeman Frontrunners To Be Miscast In ‘Akira’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/zac-efron-and-morgan-freeman-frontrunners-to-be-miscast-in-akira/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/zac-efron-and-morgan-freeman-frontrunners-to-be-miscast-in-akira/#comments Mon, 08 Nov 2010 22:37:18 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=7232 The news that Zac Efron has been offered the lead in the Hughes Brothers adaptation of Akira is single-handedly responsible for the stock of asthma medicine shooting through the roof. That is to say, chubby basement dwellers are PISSED.

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The news that Zac Efron has been offered the lead in the Hughe Brothers adaptation of Akira is single-handedly responsible for the stock of asthma medicine shooting through the roof. That is to say, chubby basement dwellers are PISSED. But when you stop and think about it, he’ll make perfect sense in the role. I’ve never seen a person who looks more like they leapt from the pages of anime in my life. I’d be shocked if a gigantic sweat drop didn’t bead on his forehead when he’s feeling trepidatious.

That said, more casting was announced that didn’t make much sense. It was revealed today that Morgan Freeman is circling the role of the Colonel. Which makes so so so little sense. That role is Chuck Liddell’s for the taking. That would be like offering Sean Connery Professor X, or not offering Morgan Freeman Nelson Mandela. At any rate, we’re still very early in the casting process so it’s likely these plans will change in favor of those that make some g.d. sense. (via /Film and Bloody Disgusting)

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Zac Efron is a Coke Mule in ‘Snabba Cash’ Remake http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/zac-efron-is-a-coke-mule-in-snabba-cash-remake/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/zac-efron-is-a-coke-mule-in-snabba-cash-remake/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Best known for playing the coolest, most athletic guy in school, Zac Efron is doing what most former big men on campus do -- driving a taxi and getting into cocaine. He's also making a movie about it.Efron is attached to star in and produce a remake of “Snabba cash,” the hot Swedish property that was the subject of a heavy Hollywood bidding war and has just found a home with Warner Bros.“Snabba” is based on a novel by Jens Lapidus and was a major hit in its home country. The thriller followed three interconnected storylines involving drugs and organized crime, with the main character a young financial wizard who hopes to strike it rich quickly by becoming a runner for a coke dealer.This news proves that no one can outrun their destiny. Dogs will always chase cats and child actors will always get involved with cocaine dealers. It's Pheonix's Law. (THR)

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Best known for playing the coolest, most athletic guy in school, Zac Efron is doing what most former big men on campus do — driving a taxi and getting into cocaine. He’s also making a movie about it.

Efron is attached to star in and produce a remake of “Snabba cash,” the hot Swedish property that was the subject of a heavy Hollywood bidding war and has just found a home with Warner Bros.

“Snabba” is based on a novel by Jens Lapidus and was a major hit in its home country. The thriller followed three interconnected storylines involving drugs and organized crime, with the main character a young financial wizard who hopes to strike it rich quickly by becoming a runner for a coke dealer.

This news proves that no one can outrun their destiny. Dogs will always chase cats and child actors will always get involved with cocaine dealers. It’s Pheonix’s Law. (THR)

 

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Zac Efron Discovers ‘Fire’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/zac-efron-discovers-fire/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/zac-efron-discovers-fire/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 If you say Zac Efron really fast, it sounds like the name of a pharmaceutical. Like, side effects of Zacefron may cause jazz hands. But that's besides the point. The point of this article is that the High School Musical, Me and Orson Welles star is trying the action genre on for size.In Fire, Efron plays a college student recruited by the CIA to work as an assassin around the world. Things get complicated when he learns that NAMBLA has set their sights on him he himself may be targeted for assassination. That's an intriguing premise and Brian Michael Bendis, the writer, has a sharp style so let's hope this will be more Bourne and less Agent Cody Banks. We won't know for sure until we can safely say that Corbin Bleu has been barred from the set. (Deadline Hollywood)

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If you say Zac Efron really fast, it sounds like the name of a pharmaceutical. Like, side effects of Zacefron may cause jazz hands. But that’s besides the point. The point of this article is that the High School Musical, Me and Orson Welles star is trying the action genre on for size.

In Fire, Efron plays a college student recruited by the CIA to work as an assassin around the world. Things get complicated when he learns that NAMBLA has set their sights on him he himself may be targeted for assassination. That’s an intriguing premise and Brian Michael Bendis, the writer, has a sharp style so let’s hope this will be more Bourne and less Agent Cody Banks. We won’t know for sure until we can safely say that Corbin Bleu has been barred from the set. (Deadline Hollywood)

 

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‘War of the Worlds’ Broadcast Tonight! http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/war-of-the-worlds-broadcast-tonight/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/war-of-the-worlds-broadcast-tonight/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000  

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To promote the release of the film Me and Orson Welles, the producers have conjured up a clever publicity move by broadcasting the original Welles’ "panic in the streets" radio program of War of the Worlds. It may not seem like much now, but back in 1938 the convincing faux news broadcast of martians landing on earth had a good portion on the American public sh*tting in their oversized undergarments. I remember my grandfather telling me a story about how he had to shake some good sense back into his aunt after she started running around the house screaming, "The aliens are coming! The aliens are coming!" But she was also a drunk, so there’s a good chance she didn’t even hear the broadcast.

You can listen to the 60-minute radio play in its entirety at waroftheworldstribute.com exactly 71 years later, to the minute, tonight, Friday, October 30th at 8pm EST. Gather the family around the glow of the radio (computer), put some Jiffy Pop on the stove, tie your aunt securely to something bolted into the floor, and enjoy a classic.

Me and Orson Welles, starring Zac Efron and a brilliant performance by Christian McKay as Orson, is about a teenager who is cast in the Mercury Theatre production of "Julius Caesar" directed by a young Orson Welles in 1937. It comes out in limited release on November 25th. It’s directed by Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, School of Rock, Slacker) and you can watch the, dare I say charming, trailer below. 


Me and Orson Welles – Watch more Funny Videos

[via First Showing]

Today’s Marquee Links

Shaq Joins Cleveland Police

Awesome Joker Xbox Mod

Celebrity Halloween Costumes

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10 WORST BASKETBALL SCENES IN MOVIES http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/10-worst-basketball-scenes-in-movies/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/10-worst-basketball-scenes-in-movies/#comments Tue, 05 May 2009 01:38:49 +0000 Defy Media The NBA Playoffs are (finally) into the second round and at long last we have gotten over an unbelievably uneventful NCAA Tournament. So, needless to say, we’ve seen some good basketball lately (apart from the Utah Jazz - jab!). Why not take a look at some of Cinema’s darker basketball moments? You know the ones - super-leaping little children tomahawk-dunking on some white doofus’ face when the glass shatters at the buzzer and the crowd goes wild. Those are the moments when people realize, and movies preach, life is not all about basketball. It’s about love, friendship, hard work, and sweat. Lots and lots of sweat.   It’s all still about basketball, though. That’s why the hero gets carried off the court on people’s shoulders. No one gave a damn about anyone learning a lesson, they cared that their team won the game at the last friggin’ second! Not only that, the team showed those jerks over at Opponent High (Fighting Muskrats) that they were the better basketball players and therefore the better people. 

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The NBA Playoffs are (finally) into the second round and at long last we have gotten over an unbelievably uneventful NCAA Tournament. So, needless to say, we’ve seen some good basketball lately (apart from the Utah Jazz – jab!). Why not take a look at some of Cinema’s darker basketball moments? You know the ones – super-leaping little children tomahawk-dunking on some white doofus’ face when the glass shatters at the buzzer and the crowd goes wild. Those are the moments when people realize, and movies preach, life is not all about basketball. It’s about love, friendship, hard work, and sweat. Lots and lots of sweat.

It’s all still about basketball, though. That’s why the hero gets carried off the court on people’s shoulders. No one gave a damn about anyone learning a lesson, they cared that their team won the game at the last friggin’ second! Not only that, the team showed those jerks over at Opponent High (fighting Muskrats) that they were the better basketball players and therefore the better people.

Basketball is not an easy game to translate to the screen, but so many people have tried. Here are the worst Hollywood had to offer:

 

TEEN WOLF

It’s not enough that Scott was inexplicably talented (and by that I mean, more athletic) as a werewolf, but somehow we are to believe that Michael J. Fox (all 4’6” of him) and his ragtag bunch of teammates (including the Fat Guy, as lovable as most fat guys) defeat the best team in the league? I mean, the Dragons even have a black guy or two on the team. Meanwhile, Michael J. jumpshoots his free throws. What’s that about? I think the lesson that the Beavers needed to learn was not about how they had the talent all along – it’s that their lack of fundamentals surprisingly got them this far.

As a side rant, I want to give special mention to Beavers’ forward #45. He has a smooth game, and is always following shots. He went down as an unsung hero to the Beavers’ amazing comeback, despite obviously being the star on both sides of the court. Subconsciously, I must have chosen to wear 45 in m high school playing days in his honor. Must have.

 

GLORY ROAD

A quick disclaimer. This is not a bad basketball movie, really. They get most of it sort of right. Sort of. But there are a couple things to mention. The 1966 Texas Western men’s basketball team was historically relevant. They were college basketball’s answer to Jackie Robinson. They took on the giants of Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky basketball factory. They were not, however, an AND1 MixTape team. They played smart motion offenses, and didn’t rely on exuberance and showmanship to win games.

And, on a storytelling note, is it really necessary to stick nose prosthetics on actor’s to make them look more like the real life characters they are depicting. Were there Rupp lobbies trying to get Jon Voight to look more like the foul-nosed coach? I’m pretty sure 99.999% of Americans would not have second-guessed Voight, sans nose prosthetic, as Adolph Rupp. Call me crazy, but it just seems to show the loosely knit seams in filmmaking when I see a badly made, and unnecessary, face prop.

 

ABOVE THE RIM

This movie raises more questions than answers, and fails Storytelling 101 in the first five minutes of the film. All basketball relevance and authenticity is lost when we see some kid smash his hand through the backboard then falling to his untimely death before the credits. C’mon. I didn’t even know that slapping the backboard was such a great feat. If that was the case, I should have been recruited to play college ball.

From that ridiculous scene on, the movie’ fighting an uphill battle – one not unlike the rest of the basketball games in the films on this list. And note that Marlon Shawn* Wayans has a role here. Just keep that in mind.

*Editor’s Note: Thanks for the correction, Anonymous.

 

SLAM DUNK ERNEST

Ernest has practically done everything. Actually, there’s very little he cannot do, probably because of some unbelievably improbably coincidence or magic shoes. In this one, like so many other basketball movies that try and teach kids that “it’s not about the shoes,” it is about the shoes. Ernest just wants to play basketball in a sort-of semi-pro league with his janitor buddies – but being a white hick – he sucks. Until, that is, he finds a pair of magical shoes that make him grimace his face when he leaps 12 feet into the air.

If that isn’t cringe-worthy enough, they decided to give the shoes a high-lilting coo every time he addresses them in conversation. They make Snarf from Thundercats someone you’d want to have a conversation with.

Cast note: Miguel A. Nuñez Jr.

 

JUWANNA MANN

See above cast note I am guessing that Miguel A. Nuñez Jr. had a bit of “star power” in the early 00s. He was probably ready to call the shots on his next acting gig, and I am guessing that he decided Slam Dunk Ernest didn’t showcase enough of his talent as a budding basketball player. So he brainstormed some star-vehicle basketball movie ideas that didn’t have him playing second fiddle to Ernest (that’s gotta sting).

His idea was about as well-rounded as the basketball in it. I won’t pretend I am a fan of the WNBA, but they should be greatly offended by the massacre this movie did to any credibility for women’s team sports. The sports film is usually an uplifting one, empowering a certain group of people – usually underachievers, but this destroyed that mold and is just a slap in the face. I am choking on my contempt. I apologize.

Quick cast note: Kim Wayans (aka Shawn Wayans’ sister), stay tuned.

 

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR

I don’t understand the HSM movies. And I won’t pretend to. They are not for meant for me. I haven’t seen any of them all the way through. I know that Zac Efron is some sort of teen hearthrob and all, but I’m just not sure to which sex he’s a hearthrob. I was aware, though, that Zac’s character is into basketball, and that in the world of HSM, basketball is the jock sport of choice. That’s all fine, but I’m not sure they are playing basketball.

I can understand that teams have a trick play or two – especially any sports team in any movie, ever, but I don’t think singing while playing basketball would really throw the other team off. If anything, it probably just confirms the opponents superiority as they thromp the sissy, singing team.

I also admit, I had to read the title of the movie a couple times to make sure it was HIGH SCHOOL Musical, because those kids out there are middle schoolers. There’s usually a good amount of size, strength, and athleticism to real high school ball players. I may have been Zac Efron’s size in fourth grade (and, as long as he played his soprano offense, I think I could have taken him even then).

 

LIKE MIKE

 

 

It’s the shoes, but it’s not. Christ! Li’l Bow Wow probably had way too much to do with this film getting made, which proves an old adage: “Hollywood is run by 12-year-olds.” Some producer, trying to not lose his tenuous grasp on the key pre-teen demographic, decided that the “so in” young rapper and that cute kid from Jerry Maguire (who had already grown out of his cuteness by the third act) should star in a movie where a kid plays in the NBA.

Interesting side note: even the Wayan brothers stayed away from this movie.

Do yourself a favor, put this one back on the shelf and watch Rookie of the Year, if anything you’ll see the original version.

 

AIR BUD

If kids playing in the NBA isn’t enough for you, how about dogs? Okay, it’s not the NBA, but it’s one of the great copouts of movie sports – middle schoolers. If you’re not going to be able to translate the sport on the screen in an authentic way, why not bring in the kids who aren’t supposed to be superstars yet. Perfect. Add a pinch of canine and you’ve got a movie franchise!

The dog is cute enough, and I can be on Air Bud’s side most of the time, but really, once I take off my homer glasses (for the Timberwolves – the last time they were ever successful – uppercut!), shouldn’t he be called for about a hundred turnovers? Traveling? Moving screens? He has his nose in the kid’s crotch for chrissake, that has to be a foul. What is he? The John Stockton of doggie basketball?

It was because of this movies, the filmmakers didn’t make Most Foul-Prone Primate.

 

THE AIR UP THERE

Kevin Bacon had to do a basketball movie. He had done everything else. So what better movie to do than one where he plays an assistant coach looking for the next Hakeem Olajuwon or Dikembe Mutombo? That way, you’re doing a basketball movie and a heartfelt tribute to Africa. Unfortunately, they butchered the basketball and destroyed any semblance of cultural sensitivity to African tribal nations.

I will say it has it’s golden moments, most of which are Bacon’s facial expressions as he re-injures his knee.

 

THE SIXTH MAN

Marlon Wayans. In the 90s, the Wayans brand had some real comedy firepower, that was, until Damon and Keenan Ivory grew out of their comfortable adolescent humor, and gave the reins over to Marlon and Shawn. And, since the Wayans’ were employable black guys, white producers decided they should be basketball players. It was almost every basketball casting decision in the late 90s and early 00s.

WRITER: It’s about a basketball team. It’s a comedy.   

PRODUCER: Get Wayans, the young one! Marlon!  

WRITER: But it’s about a women’s basketball team.  

PRODUCER: Doesn’t he have a sister?

The Wayans are a smorgasbord of casting choices for inept producers, and The Sixth Man suffers from not at least getting a funny black man in his role.

 

DISHONORABLE MENTION:

Celtic Pride – Damon Wayans, anyone?

Eddie – The downfall of Whoopi Goldberg (how it art akin to the fall of Rome)

Rebound – The downfall of Martin Lawrence (it art closer to the fall of Orange Julius).

– ROSS CONKEY

Ross Conkey is a freelance writer living in Chicago.  He likes the Trailblazers and thinks basketball fundamentals should start with fun.

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