Amy Poehler

Why Can’t TV’s Beloved “Difficult Men” Make Good Movies?

Considering the kind of dancing in the streets that greets every new season of Mad Men (particularly now that we’re in the home stretch), you’d think Are You Here, the feature filmmaking debut of Mad Men creator/mastermind Matthew Weiner, would be accompanied by a bit more fanfare. But it’s getting a muted, multi-platform, limited release today, after a Toronto Film Festival premiere under a different title, to decidedly mixed reviews. If you see the film — and this is not much of an endorsement to do so — it’s easy to see why; Are You Here is a bit of a mess. But there’s an odd and interesting trend at work here, where genuinely gifted television creators, with distinctive voices and unique styles, try their hand at filmmaking and whiff that transition completely. … Read More

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The Strange, Frustrating Reason Why Matthew Weiner’s Feature Film Debut, ‘You Are Here,’ Was Retitled ‘Are You Here’

This Friday, the feature film debut of Mad Man mastermind Matthew Weiner will open in select cities, but it’s not exactly the same film that premiered at last year’s Toronto Film Festival. It’s not that just that the writer/director re-edited the Owen Wilson/Zach Galifianakis/Amy Poehler comedy/drama, changing some music and expanding the running time. The film’s title has also been altered, from the definitive You Are Here to the questioning Are You Here (and don’t even get me started on that missing question mark). The flip-flopping of those three words isn’t just a tactic to hide the picture’s mixed festival reception. There’s a much simpler explanation: Are You Here is also debuting On Demand this week, and the new title’s placement is much more desirable on alphabetical VOD menus. And this kind of thing happens all the time. … Read More

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Can Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd’s ‘They Came Together’ Save the Spoof Comedy?

There are few things more pretentious and self-serving than quoting yourself, but hopefully I’ll offset that quality by quoting myself being wrong about something. “The spoof movie is dead,” your film editor wrote on these pages, back in November, “and The Starving Games is just a phantom moan from a long-closed coffin.” You can understand my hopelessness; after all, I’d just sat through the latest “spoof” “comedy” from Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the talentless hacks who all but single-handedly destroyed the parody movie as a viable comedy subgenre. But the good news is the spoof movie may have risen from the dead, Dracula (or, more appropriately, Dracula: Dead and Loving It) style, thanks to director David Wain and his co-writer Michael Showalter, whose rom-com send-up They Came Together is as funny a film as I’ve seen in a good, long while. … Read More

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Maya Rudolph Cast in Tina Fey/Amy Poehler Comedy

Maya Rudolph will reunite with her Saturday Night Live costars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in the upcoming comedy film The Nest. Fey and… Read More

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Drink Your Room Service Hooch, Eat Your Prison Pad Thai: Links You Need to See

Somehow, at the end of a day of internet immersion, every piece of information begins to seem — how can I possibly phrase this originally? — a reflektion of a reflektion of a reflektion. Today’s links communicate with one another across a dangerous terrain of pop cultural obsession (e.g. the weird, literal feeding of excessive Orange Is the New Black fandom) and antagonism (two good-humored attacks on Don Rickles’ wrinkles in one day!). So sit forward and feast your screen-wearied eyes on these bad boys (links). … Read More

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25 Summer 2014 Movies You Need to See

Though we’ve barely put away our parkas here in NYC, summer movie season is apparently underway, since there’s now a new Spider-Man movie playing on basically every vertical surface in the country. It could be argued that “summer movie season” began a month ago, when Captain America: The Winter Solder came out, because Hollywood is stuck in a PERPETUAL COMIC BOOK TENTPOLE BLOCKBUSTER SUMMER, but I digress. Let’s not fight it; here’s our look at 25 of this summer’s most promising releases, big and small. Plan your vacations… Read More

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‘Parks and Recreation’ Skips Ahead to a Promising Future

While I would never say that Parks and Recreation had a bad sixth season, I could surely make the case that it was an average one, even boring at times. For all the changes that happened — Ann and Chris moved away (and Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe left the show), Ben lost his job, Leslie was removed from City Council, Leslie got pregnant with triplets, Jerry became Larry, etc. — everything still felt very much the same. It’s a safe show, one that’s overly sweet and hopelessly optimistic, but what was once refreshing began to feel repetitive. To be honest, I was dreading the season finale and worried about its predictability, but it featured a fantastic twist that has me excited for Season 7. … Read More

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