“Sometimes,” says self-made musical impresario Jan Lewan (Jack Black) in The Polka King, “to make money you have to spend money.” The problem with Jan is he didn’t spend money sometimes, he did it every time. Every get-rich quick scheme he ever hatched up in his Pennsylvania gift shop required more investment than potential profit. He sold his polka fans on a “premium Pope package,” a lavish vacation to Rome that included a private audience with the Pope. But Jan had no way to deliver on his promise, so he just showed up at the Vatican with a briefcase full of cash. He got his audience, and delighted his tour group. But his “premium” vacation surely cost him more than he made.
Ah, the 1990s. That glorious decade of eyebrow rings, prepaid calling cards, and Blockbuster Video. Landline makes you nostalgic for that great time, when you could go to the movies without fear of a jerk in front of you checking their phone the entire time, like the jerk two rows in front of me during Landline. That lady really knew how to put the divide between then and now into stark relief.
Although just about every character in The LEGO Movie was delightful enough to deserve their own spinoff, only one truly warranted it: Will Arnett’s hilariously narcissistic Batman. The new trailer for The LEGO Batman Movie expands on what made that character so great, functioning as both a loving sendup and amazing satire of the iconic superhero. It’s kind of perfect.
Three of the funniest minds in modern comedy have teamed up to bring us My Blind Brother, a rom-com about a blind man and his brother both falling for the same woman. Adam Scott plays Robbie, a handsome professional swimmer who also happens to be blind, while Nick Kroll plays his brother Bill, an all-around normal dude who’s always lived in his sibling’s shadow. When they meet Rose, played by Jenny Slate, their sibling rivalry is ignited as they realize they both like her.
Drunk History has made its way around the block, from web series to Emmy nominations, and Season 4 on Comedy Central may be the most satisfied year yet. Not only do we get a first taste of Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda retelling the famous duel, but the first trailer brings a bevy of celebrities from Elizabeth Olsen to Ronda Rousey.
There’s nothing new or marvel about cute cuddly talking animals; they’ve been the center of animated feature films since the earliest days of animation. But in ‘The Secret Life of Pets,’ the age old shtick still works.
Neither comedian Maria Bamford nor showrunner Mitch Hurwitz are too busy with Arrested Development these days, leaving the Netflix field wide open for Bamford to ignite new comedy series Lady Dynamite. Ahead of the May premiere, check out the star-studded trailer, as Maria Bamford loses much more than her marbles.
Disney has unveiled the full cast list for Zootopia, and naturally the film has been well-stocked with name-brand actors willing to lend their distinctive tones to something their kids might be able to watch.
Joe Swanberg has gone from prolific director of divisive mumblecore indies to director of more widely-seen and loved indie features, like Drinking Buddies — although Swanberg has been making films for over a decade, Drinking Buddies was his mainstream breakout. Or as mainstream as indies can get, anyway. As you can see in the trailer for his latest, his appeal is only growing.
One of the best comedies (and best films) to come out of 2014 was Obvious Child, the Jenny Slate rom-com directed and co-written by Gillian Robespierre. The pair had such immense chemistry together that it’s hardly surprising to see them team up again, this time for a new FX comedy series that will take Slate on the road with Ari Graynor in what’s being described as “like Thelma and Louise — but nobody dies.”