Tag Archive | "Ed Helms"

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New Releases: July 31, 2015

Posted on 30 July 2015 by William Gatevackes

Vacation Poster1. Vacation (Opened Wednesday, Warner Brothers/New Line, 3,411 Theaters, 99 Minutes, Rated R for crude and sexual content and language throughout, and brief graphic nudity, Rotten Tomatoes Rating at press time: 26% Fresh [84 Reviews]): So, is this a remake, a sequel or both? If it’s the former, I dread the inevitable remakes of the John Hughes classics that will surely come. If it’s a sequel, okay, that would be kind of inventive. But I think it’s the latter, which is problematic to say the least.

The basic plot is the same–a man takes his dysfunctional family on a cross-country vacation to the mythical Wally World from the first film—but it seems that they try to up the ante this time around. Now it’s Rusty (Ed Helms, because he’s a bigger star than Anthony Michael Hall or Johnny Galecki, I guess) instead of Clark. Instead of the gorgeous supermodel flirting with dad while driving on the highway, she gets hit by an oncoming tractor trailer. Instead of eating a sandwich with dog pee on it, they whole family wallows in raw sewage.

But bigger isn’t always better, especially when the original still stands up well today.

mission impossible poster2. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (Paramount, 3,800 Theaters,131 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity, Rotten Tomatoes Rating at press time: 93% Fresh [101 Reviews]):This film shouldn’t be so enticing. The franchise is one year away from its 20th birthday, with only five installments to show for it. Its star is eligible for an AARP card, and is still trying to live down a legendary press junket from ten years ago which was notorious for him jumping on couches and calling morning show hosts “glib.”

But the film is getting spectacular reviews. Tom Cruise, at 53, looks 36 and does a lot of his own stunts, including the one in the trailer where HE HANGS FROM THE OUTSIDE OF A PLANE WHILE IT IS TAKING OFF. And the franchise stays fresh by adding new elements and recurring characters to the old favorites. And averaging a film once every four years seems to be a case of making sure there is a quality reason to bring everyone back.

So, this franchise might not have that much life left in it, but it appears that it has enough to bring audiences in.

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Pointless NAKED GUN Remake Coming Soon

Posted on 13 December 2013 by William Gatevackes

naked gunDon’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Ed Helms. And as a big fan of The State, I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant…oh, sorry R. Ben Garant, so much so that I still talk about having lunch one table over from them while attending the 2008 San Diego Comic Con. So, this is not aimed at them. It’s aimed at whoever keep pressing the remake button at the studios. Not every film needs to be remade, people!

Naked-GunVariety is reporting that Paramount has tapped Lennon and Garant to write a remake of their Naked Gun franchise with an eye toward Helms to star.

The original franchise, which was based on the short-lived TV show, Police Squad, was created by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker and starred Leslie Nielsen as Detective Frank Drebin, a bumbling detective who solved cases almost by accident.

It was also to TV police procedurals of the 60s and 70s what Airplane was to airport disaster movies. In other words, it was a dead on parody of an entire genre, loaded with double entendres, pun-filled wordplay, and silly slapstick.

One of the reason why it worked so well is because of Nielsen, who spent most of the 60s and 70s doing serious guest-starring roles on the cops shows the Naked Gun was parodying. His deadpan approach to the films, not far from the acting style he used in his dramatic roles, is one of the reasons why those original films were successful enough to be remade.

So, it was a film franchise that was a reflection of the times it was made in and how its star was up to then perceived. Two major things this remake will not have going for it.

I could see if maybe they cast, say,someone like David Caruso and decided to go with a parody of your CSIs and NCISs , then it might be in the spirit of the original.   Ed Helms, while not shying away from darker, more serious roles in his film career, is primarily known as a comic actor. That right there loses a lot of what Neilsen brought to the original.

I know one of the most heinous things any critic, journalist or reviewer can do is condemn a piece of art before it’s created, but I can’t see this remake capturing anything that made the original great. It might be good on its own, but its not on its own. It’s a Naked Gun film. That gives it a lot to live up to.

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VACATION Reboot Delayed Over Ratings Debate

Posted on 24 April 2013 by Rich Drees


Ed Helms and Christina Applegate have to postpone their trip to WallyWorld.

New Line Pictures has put their formerly greenlit Vacation franchise relaunch on hold while a dispute between writers/first-time directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein and the studio over the film’s possible rating. According to the Hollywood Reporter, “some wanting to make a broader, PG-13 movie while others want to keep it R-rated, like the original.”

Helms is set to star in the franchise reboot as Rusty Griswold, the grown up son of Chevy Chase’s franchise lead Clark Griswold, with Applegate as his wife. Chase and his Vacation co-star Beverly D’Angelo have been secured for a cameo appearance.

The Reporter stated that it was unclear as to who was on which side of the disagreement, but my gut says that it is probably the studio which wants the PG-13 rating as it allows for a bigger potential ticket buying audience. While thr original Vacation and its first sequel, Eurpoean Vacation (1985), were rated R, it was 1989’s PG-13 rated Christmas Vacastion that was the franchise’s biggest box officer earner pulling in $71.3 million in domestic ticket sales.

The production was already ramping up to start shooting in July in Atlanta. It is unknown right now as to when things might be started back up. The Hollywood Reporter is stating “One source says the delay will last only a few months, but others say the movie could be pushed to later this year.”

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Posted on 27 May 2011 by William Gatevackes

The Hangover, Part II has been criticized for being a carbon copy of the original The Hangover, There’s a reason for that. It’s because it is.

Okay, maybe carbon copy is a bit harsh. It’s not exactly like the first one. But it’s close enough that you get the indication that the new writing team of Craig Mazin, Scot Armstrong, and Todd Phillips simply took a Sharpie to the first film’s script, making changes here and there.

There is a wedding amongst a group of friends, although now it’s Stu (Ed Helms) instead of Doug (Justin Bartha). Stu, Doug and fellow groomsman Phil (Bradley Cooper) are essentially forced into inviting the awkward Alan (Zach Galifinakis) along on the festivities.

There is a wild night in an exotic location, but Bangkok instead of Las Vegas, and the next morning they wake in a stupor to find one of the wedding party missing, although this time it is neither Stu nor Doug but Teddy (Mason Lee), the favored son of Stu’s father-in-law to be.

Then the film becomes a search for Teddy and a reconstructing of the night before, just like the first movie. There is a case of mistaken identity involving the missing person, much like in the first film. Stu has a dalliance with a stripper, like he did in the first movie. There is high pressure hostage exchange, just like the first film. There is an inappropriate mock sexual act performed in public, just like in the first film.

All of these plot points have a twist–a big, noisy,lurid or expensive twist–that makes them slightly different that the original. But the plot structure and the series and order of events are almost exactly silver. The big revelation at the end happens the same way as the first film, with the same characters doing the same actions and the same result coming from it.

Now, some might say not messing with a successful formula is a good thing. So what if the plots are almost identical? That’s a good thing because the first one was funny, right?

While there are some funny moments (Mike Tyson’s cameo is especially hilarious), the sameness make the viewer less willing to suspend disbelief. And the viewer is asked to suspend disbelief a lot in this movie.  Slights big and small are forgiven far to easily. A person who can provide all the answers to the night before dies suddenly before he can tell what happened yet returns to life when he’s needed for the plot. The boys face no legal ramifications for any of their accidents, even though there’s really no way why really shouldn’t.

The result is a why bother kind of film. Why bother paying $10 or more to go to a theater and see this film when you can rent the far superior original for less?

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Posted on 25 October 2010 by Rich Drees

To me, the best Dr. Seuss film is still 1953’s The 5,000 Fingers Of Dr. T. A live action family film, the active participation of the children’s book author in writing the original screenplay insured that it would have his unique writing voice throughout the film. More recent adaptations of his books – like the live action How The Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat In The Hat and the animated Horton Hears A Who – manage to fully replicate the look of his book illustrations but miss the mark on capturing the whimsy of his tales.

The team behind the Horton adaptation are now tackling another Seuss book – The Lorax. In this new animated film, Zac Ephron will be voicing Ted, a boy who goes to find out why the world has become so ugly. On his journey, he meets the titular creature being voiced by Danny DeVito, who explains that someone called the Once-ler (The Daily Show‘s Ed Helms) has cut down an entire forest of trees. Rob Riggle will be providing the voice of a new character, an industrialist named O’Hare who who is in cahoots with the Once-ler.

USA Today provides us with a first look at the Lorax today.

And here’s where the production might already be off the rails – the addition of new elements into a classic story. Now granted, these are children’s books we’re talking about, so it’s not like they have enough story material on their own to flesh out a feature-length film. All previous Dr. Seuss adaptations that have tried this have met with a degree of failure. Now granted, Horton Hears A Who was probably the least of the offenders in this department, so maybe there is hope that The Lorax won’t be a complete muck-up. We’ll find out when the film hits theaters on March 2, 2012.

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Who Is Not Coming Back For HANGOVER 2?

Posted on 15 October 2010 by Rich Drees

In The Hangover, Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha and Ed Helms ditched their significant others for a weekend of fun in LAs Vegas that went horribly wrong. Now, as the sequel begins shooting comes word that the production will be leaving behind one of their characters’ romantic partners as well.

Heather Graham, who appeared in the first film as a stripper with a heart of gold who wins Helms’s character’s heart and convinces him to leave his shrewish wife, will not be in The Hangover 2. E On Line broke the story with a Warner Brothers rep commenting, “Unfortunately Heather won’t be in the sequel—they way the story unfolds doesn’t allow any room for her character to show up. I don’t want to reveal to much of the film, but once you see it you’ll understand.”

WHile I know that the film has it fans, The Hangover only struck me as average, not a great, comedy. And with the exclusion of Graham from the cast, I think my interest level dipped a bit from an already low point.

Director Todd Phillips is currently shooting the sequel in Los Angeles this month and then the production moves to Bangkok in November. It is scheduled for theaters on the Fourth of July weekend, 2011.

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