Aubrey Plaza

The Best and Worst of the 2015 SXSW Film Festival

The SXSW Film Festival will continue through the weekend (albeit mostly with repeat screenings and music-related films, pegged to the concurrent music fest), but your correspondent has returned from Austin, with a belly full of BBQ and a head full of leftover images and snatches of dialogue from the 21 narrative and documentary films I took in over my week in Texas. Here are a few thoughts on each, along with the best and worst films I saw there. … Read More

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10 SXSW 2015 Movies We Can’t Wait to See

Hold my calls, I’ll be in Austin. Yes, tomorrow marks the start of the 2015 SXSW Film Festival, one of the most purely enjoyable weeks of the movie year (and, no small side plus, a welcome blast of sunshine after a particularly miserable winter). With a remarkable 145 features in this year’s fest — from a record 2,385 submissions — there’s no way to even come close to seeing everything that looks interesting, or striking, or fun. But here are a few of the movies we’re looking forward to seeing, either in Austin or soon thereafter. … Read More

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Watch Trailer for ‘Ned Rifle,’ in Which Aubrey Plaza Stars Opposite Parker Posey and that Kid from ‘Stepmom’

Many an unexpected thing arises in Ned Rifle, the third film in a trilogy by Hal Hartley (each focuses on the ways an… Read More

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‘Parks and Recreation’ Season 7 Episode 7 Recap: “Donna and Joe”

Even with the plotline centered around Donna’s wedding, the season seven midpoint of Parks and Recreation was action-packed for more than just the Meagles. Jen Barkley shows up and goads Ben into running for Congress. Tom and Lucy take a leap, even after Ron inadvertently screws it up. We finally get a good look at Leslie and Ben’s kids, with Rachel Dratch (!!!) as their overwhelmed nanny, Roz. It’s revealed that Jerry/Larry/Terry is actually named Gary (please say this marks the end of this joke). Questlove shows up as Donna’s estranged baby brother, Levondrius, and smashes a vintage microwave on the dance floor, giving Donna the touch of drama she craved for her wedding. Truly, “Donna and Joe” had it all. … Read More

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‘Parks and Recreation’ Season 7 Premiere Recap: “2017” and “Ron and Jammy”

Time jumps on television are a tricky thing to master, and I’d say that it gets even trickier when it’s thrown in at the end of the sixth season of an established half-hour sitcom. While I was grateful for Parks and Recreation‘s surprising twist at the end of last season’s finale (mostly because it meant no stereotypical pregnancy sitcom silliness), I was still a bit anxious about how the series would handle it. Of course, this worry was pointless — it’s Parks and Recreation after all, one of the most consistently hilarious comedies on network television. The season premiere did not disappoint.  … Read More

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Does Science Prove You Belong in Pawnee? : Links You Need To See

Have you ever felt like you belonged in another city? That your life was drab and boring, and if you could just save up the money and find a way out of this small town that your life would just be so much better? Well, science says you’re right. Some people are apparently more suited to people-watching in a Parisian cafe and others are more suited to a quick stroll in Central Park. Hopefully Buzzfeed is preparing its servers for the inevitable flood of people who’ll want to take their fate-deciding quizzes. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide: 50 Gifts for 50 Cultural Icons

It’s that time of year again: the season of the holiday gift guide. And in keeping with tradition, if you’re looking for a present for that special cultural icon of yours (or just someone who reminds you of a certain famous face), Flavorwire has you covered. Here are our gift recommendations for some of the year’s biggest names in culture, whether they be naughty, nice, or lurking somewhere in… Read More

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‘Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever’ Is Every Bit as Awful as You Feared

About halfway through Lifetime’s Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever, there is a poor special effect featuring two Grumpy Cats flying red and green airplanes across the screen. The planes carry banners that read, “If you’re still watching this, I worry for you.” Well. At least this movie is self-aware, I suppose. There are multiple self-deprecating meta moments throughout the movie that break the fourth wall and laugh at the audience for watching this strange, too-early, and pathetic Christmas “special.” The joke’s on us for watching, sure, but the joke is also on Lifetime, and on Grumpy Cat (and his owners), and on Aubrey Plaza (who voices the cat), and on everyone else who had anything to do with this movie. … Read More

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The Slow Erosion of the TV vs. Movie Actor Class System

I know you’re supposed to let a movie draw you into its narrative without excess baggage, and its characters should exist only as themselves and so on, but I had an odd moment of external realization when I first saw About Alex (which is out this week on DVD, and is pretty good). The scene comes about six minutes into this junior Big Chill, and there’s nothing earth-shattering about it as a scene; Siri (Maggie Grace) meets Josh (Max Greenfield) and Sarah (Aubrey Plaza) at the train station to drive them to the cabin where they and several other old friends are spending the weekend. But as the three characters embraced and reconnected, something in the back of my head whispered, “Look, it’s Schmidt and April Ludgate meeting up with Shannon from Lost.” And no, that didn’t make this scene the culmination of some sort of weird TV fan fiction; it merely accentuated, with a rare bit of clarity, how much the game has changed for actors, in terms of the transition from TV to film (and back). … Read More

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