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The Playlist

Warner Bros Create Pixar-Style Brain Trust For Animated Films, Includes Phil Lord & Chris Miller, Nicholas Stoller And More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 7, 2013 4:47 PM
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  • 2 Comments
This was bound to happen, we're mostly just surprised it didn't happen sooner. You would think that with Pixar's long-standing track record of proving that originality, high standards and creative vision can produce results that please both audiences and critics, rival studios would copycat their Brain Trust structure. As much a part of their brand as the lamp in their logo, Pixar's Brain Trust -- a collection of writers, directors and more -- routinely look at in-progress projects, break them down, pick them apart and build them back up again, all to create the best movie possible. Animated movies take years to make, and yet the Brain Trust won't see one to completion unless it rigorously passes muster (though that doesn't explain "Cars 2"). At any rate, Warner Bros. is going to give the concept a shot.

Ben Stiller & Jonah Hill Say 'Aloha'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 20, 2012 11:22 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Ben Stiller is sort of the comedy version of Brad Pitt, in the sense that if he enjoys the experience of working with someone on one project, chances are he'll do it again. And he seems to have found that in Jonah Hill. The actor first popped up in a little cameo in "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," and they both had voice roles in "Megamind" (so did Pitt, for what it's worth) but it's next week's "The Watch" that sees them finally sharing considerable screen time. And it looks like Stiller had a blast and wants to do it again.

Nicholas Stoller To Direct Seth Rogen & Zac Efron In 'Townies'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • May 21, 2012 7:47 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Judd Apatow has made no secret of it for some time: he and his family love Zac Efron. It's a move that semi-legitimized the young actor who seemingly has been trying to bust out of the teen hearthrob ghetto with only mixed results thus far (though "The Paperboy" is right around the corner and a few passion projects are simmering). Efron worked with Apatow's wife Leslie Mann on "17 Again," and apparently the whole gang hang out from time to time. So perhaps it was no major shock when Apatow troupe member and friend Seth Rogen was announced as Efron's co-star in an R-Rated comedy for Universal last year. Definitely an edgier move than Efron fans are used to at this point.

The Playlist Profile: Nicholas Stoller

  • By Maris James
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  • April 30, 2012 1:20 PM
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  • 0 Comments
One night, nearly two decades ago, Nicholas Stoller, at that time a freshman at Harvard, dragged his mattress out of his room and into the room of his suitemate. Both young men had long-distance high school girlfriends whom they missed terribly, and they'd decided to have a sleepover to bond over their shared state of longing. During the sleepover, the suitemate decided to put on his prom song, “Always” by the English synthpop duo Erasure. The two listened as a ghostly plucking of strings filled the room, accompanied by a faint, mournful moaning, then a pulsing beat and quirky, digital squiggles of synthesizer funk. And soon, a high-pitched male voice, wavering and rising with emotion, swelling at the chorus: Always/I want to be with you/and make believe with you/and live in harmony harmony oh love. The song played, and they both cried.

Review: An Unwieldy ‘The Five-Year Engagement’ Is Still Endearing, Funny & Smart

  • By The Playlist
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  • April 26, 2012 11:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Funny, touching and occasionally dramatic, Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller’s charming “The Five Year Engagement” falls just short of the modern-day comedy classic category, and yet is deeply entertaining, genuinely amusing and satisfying in the way most shaggy-dog, two-hour-plus comedies are not. Bolstered by a hilarious supporting cast and two genuinely likable leads, the Judd Apatow-produced comedy may feel a little unkempt at times, but the picture has sweet and touching notes to go with the diverting silliness.

Watch: Black Peonies Are Bigger In Red Band Trailer For 'The Five-Year Engagement'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 20, 2012 6:03 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Getting married is one thing, but you have to get to the altar first, and it's that journey that serves as the center of yet another winning Judd Apatow production, in Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller's "The Five-Year Engagement." The film opened the Tribeca Film Festival a couple of days ago and hits theaters next week, and as we noted in our review, the film is "sweet and touching" and hits all the right comic notes you can expect.

Tribeca Review: An Unwieldy ‘The Five-Year Engagement’ Is Still Endearing, Funny & Smart

  • By The Playlist
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  • April 19, 2012 8:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Funny, touching and occasionally dramatic, Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller’s charming “The Five Year Engagement” falls just short of the modern-day comedy classic category, and yet is deeply entertaining, genuinely amusing and satisfying in the way most shaggy-dog, two-hour-plus comedies are not. Bolstered by a hilarious supporting cast and two genuinely likable leads, the Judd Apatow-produced comedy may feel a little unkempt at times, but the picture has sweet and touching notes to go with the diverting silliness.

On The Set: The Rewrites, Evolution & Accents That Come With A 'Five-Year Engagement'

  • By Leah Zak
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  • March 1, 2012 1:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Last year, during filming for the upcoming “Five Year Engagement” The Playlist joined a group of press to visit the production on one of its more beautiful locations, a vineyard in northern California. While there, we had the opportunity to sit down with the film’s impressive ensemble cast, as well as get a sneak peek as their characters attended an engagement party for leads Tom and Violet (played by Jason Segel and Emily Blunt). Following are a few hints on what to expect from Nicholas Stoller’s third directorial effort when it premieres at Tribeca Film Festival this spring, before arriving in theatres on April 27th.

On The Set: Nicholas Stoller And His 'Five-Year Engagement' Cast Talk Their Improvisational Process

  • By Leah Zak
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  • March 1, 2012 1:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Many months ago, on what began as a rainy morning in the hills of Sonoma, California, The Playlist -- part of a small contingent of press -- rolled up to the vineyard-turned-movie-set of this spring’s relationship dramedy “The Five-Year Engagement.” And over the course of what turned out to be a sunny and pleasant afternoon, met with the stars and filmmakers to talk about the film, as well as see first hand what has become the trademark directing style of helmer Nicholas Stoller. Previously behind comedies “Get Him to the Greek” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” Stoller has again teamed with co-writer and star Jason Segel to assemble another cast of funny folks, and let the cameras roll.

On The Set: Nicholas Stoller And His 'Five-Year Engagement' Cast Talk Their Improvisational Process

  • By Leah Zak
  • |
  • March 1, 2012 1:00 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Many months ago, on what began as a rainy morning in the hills of Sonoma, California, The Playlist -- part of a small contingent of press -- rolled up to the vineyard-turned-movie-set of this spring’s relationship dramedy “The Five-Year Engagement.” And over the course of what turned out to be a sunny and pleasant afternoon, met with the stars and filmmakers to talk about the film, as well as see first hand what has become the trademark directing style of helmer Nicholas Stoller. Previously behind comedies “Get Him to the Greek” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” Stoller has again teamed with co-writer and star Jason Segel to assemble another cast of funny folks, and let the cameras roll.

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