One of the most pleasant surprises of the past week was learning about The Lonely Island’s upcoming comedy film, which the hilarious trio are co-producing with Judd Apatow. That’s already enough to guarantee our interest, but the film is slowly stacking its casting deck, recently adding Sarah Silverman, as well as fellow SNL veteran Tim Meadows, and British actress Imogen Poots. In addition, the movie now has an official title.
I know the default mode of all movie bloggery is skepticism, cynicism, and snark. But I read the news from The Hollywood Reporter that the men of The Lonely Island — Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone — are in production on a “musical comedy” and all I feel is joy and excitement, like a man who’s on a boat, or a different man enjoying a lazy Sunday, or a third person who just cut a hole in a box for the express purpose of then stuffing his junk in that box.
I’m not a parent, but if I had kids, I know who I would want teaching my children about the miracle of life, and that’s “D--- in a Box” singer Andy Samberg. He seems to have a good grasp of the pertinent parts and their various functions. Apparently, the folks at Warner Bros. agree with me, because they’ve announced that they’re producing an animated movie called Storks that will feature the voice talents of Samberg along with Kelsey Grammer.
If comedy filmmakers weren’t already jealous of their television brethren, they will be after they watch HBO’s 7 Days in Hell, which uses the cable network’s permissive attitude toward adult material to tell envelope-pushing jokes that no mainstream movie could ever hope to get past the MPAA. 7 Days in Hell is funny enough to play in a multiplex (even if, at 50 minutes, it’s not quite feature length), but its hilariously vulgar jokes would definitely saddle it with a box-office poisoning NC-17 rating. On HBO, though, anything goes, and thank goodness because director Jake Syzmanski and writer Murray Miller were able to produce a mockumentary that giddilypulses with a sense of absolute freedom — freedom from content restrictions and freedom to experiment with weird strains of comedy that would never fly in a mainstream Hollywood film.
Now that Neil Patrick Harris, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler all seem over the award show-hosting scene, a new hero must rise. Enter 2015's 67th annual Emmy Awards, with Brooklyn Nine-Nine and SNL alum Andy Samberg set to make his hosting debut, taking over for 2014's Seth Meyers!
Adam Sandler’s live-action comedies have been underperforming lately (so much so that he recently signed a deal to make his next movies for Netflix), but 2012’s Hotel Transylvania was one of Sandler's best performing films in years. Because of that success, a new sequel is on the way with the whole “Drac Pack” returning for a spooky adventure.
Although the Oscars infamously snubbed The LEGO Movie in the Best Animated Feature category, the joyous and hilarious movie got the last laugh at the ceremony itself. The film was nominated for its delightful song “Everything is Awesome!” and the live performance of the impossibly catchy number brought the house down and probably made everyone feel really bad about not giving the full movie its due.
One of the many highlights from last night’s SNL 40th anniversary special was the moment when new cast members Pete Davidson and Leslie Jones took to the stage, introducing a montage of audition tapes from the past 40 years. Not only did the footage include new and former cast members, but we also got a peek at the audition tapes of a few stars who surprisingly didn’t make the cut, like Jim Carrey and Kevin Hart.
In between all of the tributes and montages and musical performances, the SNL 40th Anniversary Special actually found time for some original content. Right after a montage celebrating the short films that have been featured on the show over the years, Zach Galifianakis took to the stage to introduce a new digital short from Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler. Unlike most of Samberg’s original shorts, which usually traded in genial silliness, this one looked inward and examined a subject that everyone who has ever been on the show should be familiar with: breaking character.
The dust has barely settled from the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and already we’ve got a look at the lineup for the 2015 South by Southwest Film Festival. After an initial announcement that included opening night film ‘Brand,’ about comedian Russell Brand,’ things have filled out really nicely with a ton of promising-sounding selections.