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Review: 'How To Train Your Dragon 2' Is A Satisfying, If Slightly Inferior Sequel

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 11, 2014 2:59 PM
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  • 0 Comments
How To Train Your Dragon 2
For most of their history, which has now lasted over 15 years ("Antz" and "The Prince Of Egypt" both debuted in 1998), DreamWorks Animation seemed to be content with making a quick buck and raising a cheap laugh. Some of their output was better than others (the original "Shrek" at one end of the scale, "Shark Tale" at the other), but even the better films paled in comparison to the output of arch-rivals Pixar, however profitable they are. These days, things have changed. For one, the company's films aren't all that profitable ("Rise Of The Guardians," "Turbo" and "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" all disappointed financially). But for another, the quality gap has closed, with Pixar hitting something of a creative rut, and DreamWorks putting out films that are as good as or better than their rivals. Well, one film, at least: 2010's "How To Train Your Dragon," which took an unpromising premise and turned it into something funny, exciting and emotionally satisfying in a way that relatively few of their films are.

Review: R-Rated, Extended Cut Of 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 2, 2014 11:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Earlier this week, Paul Rudd visited “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” to welcome Fallon to his new gig as host and, ostensibly, to plug the rerelease of “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” which begins a weeklong run in an extended, R-rated cut this weekend. When the always-excitable Fallon asked Rudd what the longer cut was like, Rudd paused and said, “It’s just weird.” This is the easiest way to describe the new version of “Anchorman 2,” an oversized comedy so shapeless and bizarre that it borders on being experimental. Gone is any sense of pacing or propriety; in its place is sheer, go-for-broke goofiness. It doesn’t always work, but it’s probably the most fascinating thing being released in theaters this weekend.

Kristen Wiig Joins 'The Comedian' Starring Robert De Niro & Directed By Sean Penn

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 27, 2011 5:05 AM
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  • 4 Comments
"The Comedian" with Robert De Niro has been knocking around for most of the year, with updates coming in fits and starts but nothing ever seeming quite official. But with the American Film Market launching next week, a plethora of projects are beginning to be put together to shill to producers, investors and other industry folks, and this is easily the most tantalizing.

Oscar Isaac, Elijah Wood, Adam Brody, Ryan Phillippe, Kristen Wiig Will Be 'Revenge For Jolly!'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • September 7, 2011 5:53 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Actors Oscar Isaac, Elijah Wood, Adam Brody, Ryan Phillippe, Kristen Wiig, David Rasche, Kevin Corrigan, Garret Dillahunt, Bobby Moynihan, and Gillian Jacobs are all part of the recently wrapped “Revenge For Jolly!” directed by short filmmaker Chadd Harbold and starring Brian Petsos. How does a project with this many big names go unannounced and under the radar? Well, it's a indie and the the debut film of Atlas Independent, the newly-formed affiliate company of Charles Roven’s Atlas Entertainmenta company that focuses on development and production of films budgeted under $10 million (Roven known by fans as one of the producers of Christopher Nolan's Batman series).

Who Were The Winners And Losers Of The Summer Of 2011?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 30, 2011 4:08 AM
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  • 24 Comments
As the summer winds die down with a flat and uninspired whimper, the realization sets in: the summer of 2011 was for the birds. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" was the last major tent-pole to open, followed by sleeper hits like "The Help" and the not-so-successful R-rated action comedy, "30 Minutes or Less." Many had forecast that the overstuffed summer would prove disastrous, with Jon Favreau predicting that, "There’s not a weekend where there won’t be teeth on the floor," but ironically it's Favreau's film that proved to be one of the biggest box-office disappointments. Financially, films did very well with three billion-dollar blockbusters – “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”-- helping the industry set a summer box-office record and nearly rebound from a horrible start to 2011 (Currently, 2011 revenue is running only 4 percent behind 2010, but in March, things were looking grim – 19% lower than the year previous).

Natasha Lyonne Joins Kristen Wiig's Pet Project Comedy 'Imogene'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • August 4, 2011 5:03 AM
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  • 1 Comment
June Diane Raphael Also Joins CastIn case you're unaware, the aughts weren't particularly kind to indie actress Natasha Lyonne. After break-out roles in "Slums of Beverly Hills," "But I'm a Cheerleader" and the hit franchise "American Pie," things went seriously awry for the actress. From 2001 through 2007 she was in various drug and alcohol treatment centers and was arrested several times for her exploits (friend and fellow actor Michael Rapaport wrote a lengthy and candid article in a 2005 Jane magazine about her downward spiral and how he was forced to evict her from the New York apartment she rented from him).

First Look: Ed Helms & Jason Segel In The Duplass Brothers' 'Jeff Who Lives At Home'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 26, 2011 4:08 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Plus Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig & Adam Scott In 'Friends With Kids'Lots of Toronto first looks coming down the wire today, so we'll keep it brief, but two of the more anticipated comedies that'll bow at the festival just had their first official stills released. First up is "Jeff Who Lives At Home," the second mainstream picture from The Duplass Brothers, who became indie favorites with films like "The Puffy Chair" and "Baghead," proving to be standouts of the so-called 'mumblecore' scene, before getting to work with bigger names and budgets on last year's excellent "Cyrus."

Kristen Wiig's Dark Comedy ‘Imogene’ From ‘American Splendor’ Directors Starts In August

  • By The Playlist
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  • July 13, 2011 11:46 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Not to be Nikki Finke about it, but like toldja or something? The trades are making noise about Kristen Wiig's "new" project "Imogene," a dark comedy that's a labor of love and one that she's been working on for two years. We've heard of it, as you had too. We asked a few months ago rhetorically, why had all the cast and crew of "Bridesmaids" -- Melissa McCarthy, writer Annie Mumolo, director Paul Feig, Jon Hamm, Chris O’Dowd, Ellie Kemper -- reaped the benefits of that film ($206 million worldwide and counting) except for its star, co-producer and co-writer Kristen Wiig?

Isla Fisher & Ed Helms Joining Cameron Diaz & J-Lo In 'What To Expect When You're Expecting'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 22, 2011 1:46 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Kristen Wiig & Matthew Morrison Forced To Drop Out Due To TV SchedulesUpdate: Reps for Ed Helms have told us he will not be in the film.

Why Has Everyone From 'Bridesmaids' Landed Big New Gigs Except Its Leading Lady Kristen Wiig?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 16, 2011 9:28 AM
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  • 16 Comments
Did The 'Game-Changing' Comedy Really Change Anything?As we've already discussed at length, "Bridesmaids" is not only one of the best films of the year so far, but also a big, giant hit. Already the third-biggest grosser in the Judd Apatow stable, it's had hugely impressive legs, dropping fractionally week-on-week and is heading to at least a $150 million domestic gross, and possibly even more. And, as is usual with hits, most of those involved have gotten big career boosts: Apatow is back on top after a string of under-performers, breakout star Melissa McCarthy has lined up two "Bridesmaids" reunions, one with writer Annie Mumolo, the other with director Paul Feig and star Jon Hamm, romantic lead Chris O'Dowd bagged a gig in the "Knocked Up" sequel/spin-off, and Ellie Kemper joined the cast of "21 Jump Street."

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