Paul Rudd Shows off New Cologne in ‘Anchorman 2’ Trailer

Once upon a time, there was a San Diego anchorman named Ron Burgundy, and a movie called Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and the phenomenon launched a myriad of catchphrases that spread across frat parties and Facebook pages faster than cold germs on a commuter train. This December, Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Paul Rudd and Christina Applegate return to the big screen as San Diego’s finest news team.

The former four appear in the latest teaser for the film, done up in their news team finery and offering sound advice, as well as iterations of beloved tropes from the last movies. Paul Rudd’s Brian Fantana has swapped out the pungent and 60% irresistible Sex Panther for a new cologne, called "Venom," that is literally just snake venom. And, fresh off his The Office encore appearance, Carell reprises another beloved role, Brick Tamland, offering some sound advice and wishing everyone a Happy Easter. Watch the trailer below, and brace yourselves for the catchphrases, hype and the existential dread that comes with a new onslaught of parody Twitter accounts, that will appear in the months to come.

Steve Carell and James Gandolfini Set to Feud in ‘Bone Wars’

What’s funnier than a pair of feuding paleontologists? Nope, I can’t think of anything either. Bone Wars, which already wins an accolade from me for funniest / dumbest title, tells the tale of Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh (played by Steve Carell and James Gandolfini, respectively), two rival fossil hunters whose personal war led to the discovery of more than 160 dinosaurs. That’s a pretty productive feud! No such feats were on display in Bride Wars, I must say. The film will be produced by HBO Films, which means, unfortunately, it’ll just be on the small screen and likely won’t have any CGI dinosaurs (you know, in case you don’t get your fill after seeing Jurassic Park 3D this weekend). Although, it will have Gandolfini playing a dude named Othniel, which sure is somethin’.

[via Deadline]

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Ricky Gervais Resurrects David Brent

Obnoxious as Ricky Gervais is about hammering his opinions/worldview and acting like his giant ego is not such a problem just because he’s winkingly aware of it, it’s hard to deny the flat-out awesomeness of the best episodes of Extras, Life’s Too Short, andThe Office. Plus, we owe the man a huge debt for dragging Karl Pilkington into the limelight. So I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt right here.

Gervais is bringing back David Brent, the grotesque manager of The Office later given a too-sympathetic American spin by Steve Carell in the reboot, as a sort of ten-year anniversary treat. According to EW, Brent will feature “in a ‘mini episode’ called The Office Revisited.” You can watch a teaser below, which redirects you to a longer trailer. (You may also skip right to the longer trailer.)

The focus looks to be on Brent’s music “career,” which bodes well—and as a guy who would delude himself about a comeback, he’s the perfect parallel for Ricky himself, trying to recapture some of his old magic. But Steve Coogan may have covered some of this ground already with Alan Partridge.

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

Sundance Hit ‘The Way, Way Back’ Looks to Break New Records

Fox Searchlight has had quite a year. Between Beasts of the Souther Wild, Sound of My Voice, The Sessions, and now their latest Sundance hit, The East, the company is setting a standard in distribution, putting out films that deserve to be seen and heard with the backing of a company who can provide a home for the artists behind them. And with some of the most talked about films of the year having had their premieres this weekend at Sundance, distributors are chomping at the bit to obtain their festival favorites Yesterday, Relativity Media broke records with their acquisition of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Don Jon’s Addiction for a staggering $4 million dollar price—unusual for a Sundance feature. But now it looks like Fox Searchlight is about to one up them—set to pay a hefty $10 million for The Way, Way Back. From the writers of The Descendants Nat Faxon and Jim Rash in his directorial debut, the film is an eccentric coming-of-age story starring Sam Rockwell, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Maya Rudolph, and Rob Corddry. Here’s what critics are saying about it thus far:

But the biggest reason people might be talking about The Way, Way Back for a long time — and quoting it ad nauseum — is Rockwell, who simply pulls off the best Meatballs/Stripes/Ghostbusters-era Bill Murray since the legend himself. (EW)

In terms of production value, "The Way, Way Back" looks great as it is, reminiscent of the similarly sweet-and-sour "Little Miss Sunshine" (on which Carell and Collette previously collaborated), though that film certainly made more of its signature vehicle. (Variety)

Despite the familiarity of this setup, Way Back is a charmer, putting refreshingly little emphasis on Duncan’s romantic needs and allowing family melodrama to erupt and simmer down without pat resolution. Like a kid who gets a free summer in an exclusive beach town and chooses to spend his days manning a chlorine-and-concrete water park, it knows when not to take the obvious route. (The Hollywood Reporter)



Check Out the First of the 2013 SXSW Film Slate

While we’ve all been busy getting excited for Sundance’s incredible 2013 slate, the good people organizing this year’s annual South by South West Film Conference and Festival have been busy unveiling their lineup for 2013. Come March 8th, we’ll all head down to sunny Austin, Texas for a week of non-stop events from film debuts, to 150 different workshops and panels. This year, Steve Carell and Jim Carey’s new comedy, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone will open kick off the fun, but the festival will also see premieres from mumble core king Joe Swanberg with his new film Drinking Buddies, as well as Harmony Korine’s candy-coated nightmare Spring Breakers.

SXSW Film Conference and Festival Producer, Janet Pierson stated that, "Everyone knows that we like to have a good time at SXSW, and our 20th year is already well on track with smart, stylish and highly entertaining work…hough this is just a taste of what SXSW 2013 will have to offer, what better way to get the party started than with ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,’ which had us laughing our heads off, despite an 8 am Monday viewing." And with less than two months to go, we can all start counting down now.

Here‘s what SXSW 2013 looks like so far:

Downloaded (World Premiere)
Director: Alex Winter
Downloaded is a documentary that explores the rise and fall of Napster and the birth of the digital revolution. It’s about the teens that helped start this revolution, and the artists and industries who continue to be impacted by it.

Drinking Buddies (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Joe Swanberg
Weekend trips, office parties, late night conversations, drinking on the job, marriage pressure, biological clocks, holding eye contact a second too long… you know what makes the line between "friends" and "more than friends" really blurry?  Beer.
Cast: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston

Everyone’s Going to Die (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Jones
A modern British story about coming home, getting by and the redemptive power of feeling you’re not alone. A story where porn hotlines rub shoulders with sexy beavers on rollerskates; where the past is laid to rest, two lives are changed and nobody, finally, is going to die.
Cast: Nora Tschirner, Rob Knighton, Kellie Shirley, Madeline Duggan (United Kingdom) 

Evil Dead (World Premiere)
Director: Fede Alvarez, Screenwriter: Fede Alvarez & Rodo Sayagues
Five friends, holed up in a remote cabin, discover a Book of the Dead that unwittingly summons up dormant demons, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left to fight for survival.
Cast: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore

Good Ol’ Freda (World Premiere)
Director: Ryan White
Good Ol’ Fredatells the story of Freda Kelly, a shy Liverpudlian teenager asked to work for a young local band hoping to make it big: The Beatles. Their loyal secretary from beginning to end, Freda tells her tales for the first time in 50 years.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (World Premiere)
Director: Don Scardino, Story by Chad Kultgen & Tyler Mitchell and Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley. Screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John, Francis Daley
When superstar Vegas magicians Burt and Anton let their act grow as stale as their friendship, an ambitious rival with a cutting-edge delivery swoops in for the kill.
Cast: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, with Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini and Jim Carrey

Spring Breakers (U.S. Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Harmony Korine
Four college girls who land in jail after robbing a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation find themselves bailed out by a drug and arms dealer who wants them to do some dirty work.
Cast: James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine

The ‘Anchorman 2’ Teaser Checklist

Fans who jumped up and down like an animated gif waiting to happen after hearing the news that Will Ferrell’s beloved and oft-quoted Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy would be getting a sequel now have the delight of a teaser trailer for the film, coming in at under a minute and appearing at cinemas near you. Maybe.

The teaser for the film (due out in 2013), doesn’t include much indication as to what the plot will be. It’s just Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) and the rest of his news team doing what they do best: shooting off lines that people you dislike will put in their Facebook profiles someday.

That said, there were some lines fans will enjoy. To recap, here’s a checklist of tropes from the last film featured in this teaser:

  • Weird combovers, Greg Brady hair and ’70s threads? Check.
  • Ron Burgundy making a nonsensical motivational imperative statement? Check.
  • References to scotch? Check.
  • A same-mannequin-different-outfit reiteration of the "Invitation to the pants party" / "I love lamp" exchange? Check.
  • Steve Carell as Brick Tamland making everyone in the theatre uncomfortable? Check.
  • (Ron Burgundy addressing the people of America? Check.
  • Him telling us to "stay classy" in the process? Uncheck.)
  • Use of "Grazin’ In The Grass" by the Friends of Distinction? Check.
  • Veronica Corningstone? Uncheck, which seems pretty unfair, as the whole point of the last movie was getting them to the point of equal billing, becoming co-anchors as well as co-people. 

Steve Carell & Keira Knightley Make Nice in ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’

The end of the world doesn’t seem like ripe material for a romantic comedy, but here goes: In Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Steve Carell and Keira Knightley star as strangers who maybe — just maybe — find themselves in similar straits after it’s announced that an asteroid will collide with the Earth. Accompanying by a ringing indie rock soundtrack and a delightfully morbid string of jokes, they’ll attempt to navigate the waters of dreams deferred and unresolved midlife crises while trying to avoid thinking about the fiery rock above them. Of course, there’s no indication that Carell and Knightley will fall for each other — in fact, she seems to be trying to reunite him with his long-lost love. But you know how these things are, and frequently go.

This will be the directorial debut of Lorene Scafaria, who previously wrote the unfortunately titled/existing Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist. In case her reputation throws you off, don’t worry: the trailer looks fun and snappy, filled with enough in-the-now comedy actors like Patton Oswalt and Community‘s Gillian Jacobs to make the end of the world seem like it might not be so bad, after all. (Until the fire and the death, of course.) It’s out on June 22.

Ten Great Comedic Performances That Deserved Oscar Nominations

Steven Spielberg, Terrence Malick and Marin Scorsese all made lauded films in 2011, but their Oscar buzz has been stolen by a brave performer that delivered the year’s most tear-jerking sink defecation moment. Unless something goes terribly wrong — always a possibility when it comes to the Oscars — Melissa McCarthy is a lock to earn a Best Supporting Actress nod for her work in Bridesmaids, and Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo also have a reasonable shot at Best Original Screenplay. To which we say “great, and go ahead and give Wiig a Best Actress nomination while you’re at it, Academy.” Both actresses did commanding work that gave Bridesmaids a solid, emotional core to stack hilarious profane jokes on, and helped turn the movie from a fun summer comedy into a cultural phenomenon.

McCarthy’s nomination would not just be a victory for funny ladies (a subtext valiantly explored throughout 2011 by our nation’s think-piece authors), it would be a victory for all cinematic funny people. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has historically ignored comedic performances, even from big names in hit movies, even when it’s a performance that balances laugh getting with making a character’s journey feel real and hard-earned, no matter how silly. (Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda, Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie, and everyone in Broadcast News being laudable outliers.) Everyone knows that winning the Best Actor statue is an easy feat for a Serious Dramatic Actor — just emote while in the vicinity of a Nazi. The ten giants in the following list had much harder jobs than any of those “serious actor” wusses could have stepped to. They each made us howl with laughter for nearly an entire movie while still going through a character arc, delivering a performance with earned emotion and all that other  thespian stuff, and for that they deserve a list-form tribute.

Steve Martin, The Jerk  (1979)
It goes without saying that the Oscars are stupid and no one should take them seriously, and not just because they gave Best Picture to Crash (honestly, we’ve never seen it. Maybe it’s better than its reputation?) but because they’ve never nominated Steve Martin. Not even once. That’s a massive body of work to ignore, and for our money he’s never been better than his first lead role the 1979 idiot opus The Jerk. Martin fully commits to Navin R. Johnson’s childlike innocence and zeal to discover the wider world, and it’s genuinely heartbreaking when that wider world begins to corrupt him. And really, he deserved the nod for “he hates these cans” alone.

Laura Dern, Citizen Ruth (1996)
As currently seen in the HBO series Enlightened, Laura Dern is a uniquely egoless actress, always willing to look as terrible as possible (in all senses) if it will lead to comedy or a greater truth. And she was never braver than in this underrecognized Alexander Payne blacker-than-coal comedy, an absolutely brutal satire of all sides of the abortion debate. As the fume-huffing, oft-pregnant Ruth Stoops, Dern captures the cadence and spirit of her character, a woman worn-down by life but not as dumb as expected, and absolutely nailed one of the greatest “oh shit, she really said that” lines in cinema history. 

Roddy McDowall, Lord Love a Duck (1966)
Proof positive that Generation X didn’t create the meta-movie, George Axelrod’s scalding satire of 1950s and ’60s teenager films goes to absurd length to tweak its subject materials (something about beach parties must have really stuck in Axelrod’s craw). But Duck  is kept from dissolving into pure mania by Roddy McDowall’s arch yet deeply sad performance as Alan Musgrave, a love-struck loser who do anything, including a bizarrely drawn-out murder attempt, to make Tuesday Weld happy, even as he knows his love will never be reciprocated.

Bill Murray, Groundhog Day (1993)
There’s no shortage of genius Bill Murray performances ignored by the academy, and choosing just one was a Herculian task. But really, it had to be this. Though Phil Connors’s surroundings, appearance and day never change. Murray subtly plays his character’s confusion, growing frustration and eventual transformation of a selfish man that learns to care about others. He also goes big for the most hilarious suicide montage in cinema history.

Myrna Loy, The Thin Man (1934)
As one-half of married detective couple Nick and Nora Charles, Loy set a standard for lightning-fast witty repertoire that has rarely been matched — though outspoken fans Quentin Tarantino and Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino certainly gave it a try. Loy helped define booze-soaked elegance throughout the Thin Man film series, but she also managed the much trickier balance of making her character’s love for her partner seem as exciting as the white-knuckle cases they were trying to crack. Loy was never nominated for her work, but her famous fans and industry peers campaigned for her to get an honorary life-time achievement award in 1991.

Reese Witherspoon, Election, 1999
The greatest role Reese Witherspoon has ever had (on some level even she must know this) sharpens her natural perkiness and poise into a lethal weapon that lays low all in its path, especially poor Matthew Broderick, the only one to see the quiet menace that pulses just beneath Witherspoon’s sunny demeanor. And the scene where she raises her hand to answer every single question is just too damn honest.

Eddie Murphy, Bowfinger, 1999
The last funny Eddie Murphy movie deserves some recognition, doesn’t it? While we’re not sure how he was able to pull deep enough within himself to play a paranoid, deranged movie star, the academy should have given him a Best Supporting Actor nom for his work in Steve Martin and Frank Oz’s witty parody about the movie business, which is notable for being one of the few “inside Hollywood” movies that is actually funny instead of toxically myopic. Though it’s sad that Murphy apparently absorbed none of Bowfinger’s messages about vanity destroying talent, Murphy tears into Kit Ramsey’s paranoid delusions about aliens and the KKK with a gusto that still serves as a reminder of what this man is capable of when he actually gives a shit.

Steve Carell, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, 2005
We’re not saying that Carell’s depiction of Andy Spitzer’s not-too-late maturation from man child to adult should have beaten Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s Capote turn, but it’s a crime the best comedy of the first decade of this century didn’t even get some token recognition. While Hoffman’s weight loss was impressive, we’re not sure if even he would have been brave enough to submit to that chest-waxing scene. But beneath all the hilariously boorish behavior, Carell delivered a performance that was as sensitive and well-observed as any “real” acting, and had a lot to say about finding your place in an often terrifying modern world of modern dudedom.

Groucho Marx, Duck Soup, 1933
Groucho Marx, often considered the father of cinematic comedy, was never nominated for an Oscar, instead receiving an honorary award in 1974. If this depresses you, cheer up by watching Duck Soup, a film so famously stuffed with mischief, double entrees, and finely tuned physical comedy that it famously convinced Woody Allen’s character in Hannah and Her Sisters not to kill himself. Groucho and his brother Harpo’s “mirror scene” is one of the most iconic sequences of early Hollywood, and has been paid tribute countless times by everyone from Bugs Bunny to the X-Files, but it still wasn’t enough to earn him some damn respect in his time. 

Afternoon Links: Benicio Del Toro Is Preggers, ‘Arthur’ Is Number Three

● Kimberly Stewart, of all people, is pregnant with Benicio del Toro’s child. Remember all those times you were embarrassed by your father? The opposite is going to happen to this kid. [Life & Style] ● Here’s a quickie video of a random photographer calling John Galliano a ‘fucking racist’ at LAX. [TMZ] ● Jim Carrey took a razor to the sides of his head, and now I’m writing about it. What that says about the world we live in (and myself) is too depressing to contemplate. [Jim Carrey/Twitter]

● Breaking! After initial reports of Arthur besting Hanna for the number two spot at this weekend’s box office, final tallies reveal that the opposite has happened. Russel Brand: King of Hollywood for less than a day. Sorry, mate! [Deadline] ● Steve Carell’s April 28th swan song on The Office will air from 9 to 9:50pm. Those extra ten minutes before 30 Rock are for you to contemplate a suddenly meaningless existence (and to Tweet your brains out). [Deadline] ● Here’s a video of Stefani Germanotta falling on stage in Houston. Notice how close her head came to hitting that piano. If anyone was going to die for their music, it’s this one. [YouTube]