New York Film Festival Review: ‘Private Life’ – Now on Netflix!

There is an age-old dilemma in Manhattan in respect to career and family. When I was a preschool teacher 10 years ago, the average age of the parents in my class when they gave birth was 40. My own mother had me at 22. This was the “normal” I understood. But, after I got married at 31 and moved back to Manhattan after years of traveling the world, I realized that I was faced with the same dilemma. My husband had not just hinted but boldly stated that he was ready for kids. I had just gotten deep into film criticism and similar projects, there was no way I was about to slow down now. Then, once I was ready it took a grueling 8 months to get pregnant. I know, some people will say that’s not a very long time, it takes years for some women to get pregnant. But that feeling of disappointment and fear month after month is palpable still. Those visceral memories are what made Tamara Jenkins new film Private Life so engrossing for me.

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Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti play a couple that put arts careers first and family second. Then the reality of the situation slams into them head-on. With adoption, fertility treatments, and surrogacy all on the table, this couple cannot seem to catch a break. The brilliance of this film is the fact that it’s rooted in reality. The emotional rollercoaster that is trying to be parents is all emotions at once. The comedy is as pure as the heartbreak. Giamatti is always fantastic. There is a beautiful juxtaposition in a performance from Molly Shannon. On the surface, it may appear to be an uncomplicated foil for Katherine’s character, but it is anything but. Private Life‘s essence lies in Hahn’s performance. Her soul-baring work will most certainly catch you off guard. It’s the quietest moments that crush you. Her specificity is award-worthy stuff, no doubt. Private Life is not just about having a kid, it’s about marriage. It’s about the delicate balance of love and hate and resentment between two people who promise to be together forever. Hands down, in my top three films from the festival this year. You can catch Private Life right now on Netflix. I highly recommend you do.

DVD Review: ‘THE SPOILS BEFORE DYING’ is another hit for Funny Or Die and IFC


THE SPOILS BEFORE DYING 

Starring Michael Kenneth Williams, Maya Rudolph 
and Kristen Wiig

Available on DVD as of June 7, 2016

The Spoils Before Dying” showcases an all-star cast including, Michael Kenneth Williams (12 Years a Slave, RoboCop, “The Wire”), Maya Rudolph (“Saturday Night Live,” Bridesmaids, Big Hero 6), Kristen Wiig (“Saturday Night Live,” Bridesmaids), and Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense, Pay It Forward). Produced by Funny Or Die with executive producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Nate Young, Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, “The Spoils Before Dying” was written by Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont (who also directed). “The Spoils Before Dying” is the second book, based on fictional famous author Eric Jonrosh’s (Will Ferrell) first best-selling epic novel The Spoils of Babylon. Season two from the “Spoils” franchise premiered on IFC on July 8, 2015, and includes six half-hour episodes.
maya rudolph and michael KENNETH WILLIAMSThe series centers on Michael Kenneth Williams as Rock Banyon, who becomes the prime suspect in the double murder of his occasional lover Fresno Foxglove (Maya Rudolph) who is found dead with another man. Panicked, Rock splits for Mexico where he reunites with his one-time big band singer Delores DeWinter (Kristen Wiig). With 72 hours to clear his name or fry in the electric chair, Rock and Delores embark on a dangerous quest for the truth that takes them into an abyss of sex, drugs, betrayal, and of course, jazz. While his world crumbles, Rock’s hard-charging manager Alistair St. Barnaby (Haley Joel Osment) pressures him to record a mainstream jazz album.

will ferrell TSBD stillFunny Or Die can pretty much do no wrong in my opinion. Following up on the 2014 The Spoils of Babylon, The Spoils Before Dying is another total win. If you haven’t seen the first season in IFC, imagine a Sin City narrative combined with the Rodriguez/Tarantino Grindhouse schlock and add in the compressed timing of an SNL Digital Short (sort of, each episode is 30 minutes). Tough in our age of binge-watching, you can happily run through the entire series in the time it would take you to watch any other film, half as fun. The mock commercials stuck into the episodes are as completely tongue-in-cheek as the rest of the production. kristen wiig TSBDThe performances are off the rails hilarious. Will Ferrell reprising his role as Eric Jonrosh is pure insanity. His oftentimes linear thinking combined with overindulgence and narcissism is pitch perfect. Michael Kenneth Williams is a breath of fresh air as he takes on his role with (almost) complete seriousness. We all knew Maya Rudolf has a set of pipes on her, but I had no idea that Kristen Wiig can sing. And when I say sing, I really mean SAAAANNNNNGGGG. The songs are unapologetically ridiculous AND maintain gorgeous melodies. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Haley Joel Osment, who steals each scene he appears in with total commitment and one over-the-top accent. With appearances by Tim Robbins, Kate McKinnon, Molly Shannon, Michael Sheen, Chris Parnell, Tim Meadows, to name a few,  you simply cannot go wrong with this series. The Spoils Before Dying is now available in DVD. Check out the trailer below!

Touching documentary I AM CHRIS FARLEY finally comes to theaters today.

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I AM CHRIS FARLEY. Courtesy of Virgil Films

From the directors of A Brony Tale, I Am Evel Knievel, and the upcoming Johnny Cash – American RebelI AM CHRIS FARLEY tells Chris Farley‘s story, from his early days in Madison, Wisconsin and at Marquette University, through his work at the legendary club Second City to his rapid rise to the top of the comedy world on “Saturday Night Live” and in hit films like Tommy Boy and Black Sheep.

I AM CHRIS FARLEY. Courtesy of Virgil Films

I AM CHRIS FARLEY. Courtesy of Virgil Films

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Find out who else is joining ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ in the first official trailer – Hint: they’re mad men

Find out who else is joining ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ in the first official trailer – Hint: MadMenFind out who else is joining ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ in the first official trailer – Hint: they’re mad menunnamedJoin us July 31 for Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, a limited 8-episode series coming to Netflix.

It’s the first day of camp in this outrageous prequel to the hilarious 2001 cult classic movie. And at Camp Firewood, anything can happen.

An all-star cast delivers big laughs in this irreverent spoof of summer camp and ’80s teenager movies. We’ve seen the last day of summer in the classic original film, now discover the events that shaped these iconic characters on the first day of Camp Firewood’s season.

Elizabeth Banks, Michael Ian Black, Bradley Cooper, Judah Friedlander, Janeane Garofalo, Joe Lo Truglio, Ken Marino, Christopher Meloni, Marguerite Moreau, Zak Orth, Amy Poehler, David Hyde Pierce, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, and Michael Showalter join together with new characters played by Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, John Slattery, and more. It’s going to be an unforgettable day of events in Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp!

‘Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp’ Welcome to Camp Firewood first clip!

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Welcome to Camp Firewood – Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

Camp Firewood is more than just a summer camp. It’s a way of life. Join us July 31 for Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, a limited 8-episode series coming to Netflix. Elizabeth Banks, Michael Ian Black, Bradley Cooper, Judah Friedlander, Janeane Garofalo, Joe Lo Truglio, Ken Marino, Christopher Meloni, Marguerite Moreau, Zak Orth, Amy Poehler, David Hyde Pierce, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, and Michael Showalter are among some of the cast joining the series, which tells the story of the first day of Camp Firewood’s famous summer season, now fourteen years after the film’s debut.

‘Wet Hot American Summer’ back on Netflix – watch before the series premiere on July 17th

#unnamed

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp – Series Premiere July 17th

The counselors are confirmed in this teaser for Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, a limited 8-episode series coming to Netflix just in time for summer. Elizabeth Banks, Michael Ian Black, Bradley Cooper, Judah Friedlander, Janeane Garofalo, Joe Lo Truglio, Ken Marino, Christopher Meloni, Marguerite Moreau, Zak Orth, Amy Poehler, David Hyde Pierce, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon,and Michael Showalter are among some of the cast joining the series, which tells the story of the first day of Camp Firewood’s famous summer season, now fourteen years after the film’s debut. The series is directed by David Wain and co-written by Wain and Michael Showalter.

‘Hotel Transylvania 2′ Teaser Trailer is Here!

hotel-trans-great-news-for-the-hotel-transylvania-2-ghouls

Sony Pictures has debuted the teaser trailer for Hotel Transylvania 2 which you can check out below!

Synopsis:

When the old-old-old-fashioned vampire Vlad arrives at the hotel for an impromptu family get-together, Hotel Transylvania is in for a collision of supernatural old-school and modern day cool.

The sequel stars Mel Brooks, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Kevin James, Molly Shannon, Jon Lovitz, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Fran Drescher and Cee-Lo Green. Director Genndy Tartakovsky returns for the sequel working from a screenplay written by Adam Sandler and Robert Smigel.

The film is set for release September 25, 2015

 

Camp Counselors Confirmed in the Teaser for ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ Netflix Series Coming This Summer

wet hot americcan summerThe counselors are confirmed in this teaser for Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, a limited 8-episode series coming to Netflix just in time for summer. Elizabeth Banks, Michael Ian Black, Bradley Cooper, Judah Friedlander, Janeane Garofalo, Joe Lo Truglio, Ken Marino, Christopher Meloni, Marguerite Moreau, Zak Orth, Amy Poehler, David Hyde Pierce, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, and Michael Showalter are among some of the cast joining the series, which tells the story of the first day of Camp Firewood’s famous summer season, now fourteen years after the film’s debut. The series is directed by David Wain and co-written by Wain and Michael Showalter.

I’m so excited for this! Who’s your favorite counselor? Read More →