Steve Carell

anchorman

‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ is Smarter and Ballsier Than You Think

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By most reasonable standards, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is a stupid, stupid movie — gleefully so, even. It concerns the further adventures of super-dim television news anchor Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), for starters. It includes a relationship between his even-stupider weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) and his comparably-witted new lady love (Kristen Wiig) that basically amounts to two people blurting non-sequiturs at each other. Sports correspondent Champ Kind (David Koechner) owns a chicken restaurant, but confesses to serving deep-fried bats. Ron has a brief relationship with his African-American boss (Meagan Good), and their interracial sex scene is intercut with a clip from Diff’rent Strokes. And so on; you get the idea. But co-writer/star Ferrell and his frequent collaborator, co-writer/director Adam McKay, are up to something else here, slyly sneaking in several pointed jabs at television news in general and cable news in particular.
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faxon-rash

Flavorwire Interview: Jim Rash and Nat Faxon on Oscars, ‘Community,’ and ‘The Way, Way Back’

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When The Descendants won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay last year, more than a few viewers sat up in their seats and squinted at the screen: was that Dean Pelton from Community? (And was he making fun of Angelina Jolie?) Indeed it was; Community’s Jim Rash and his writing partner Nat Faxon shared that award with director Alexander Payne, the duo old friends and collaborators from their time in Los Angeles’ famed improvisational comedy troupe The Groundlings. Subsequently, the long-gestating script for their coming-of-age comedy/drama The Way Way Back was put into production, with the pair sharing directorial duties; that film is out today in limited release, and it’s wonderful.
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blue-jasmine

Flavorwire’s Guide to Indie Flicks to See in July

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Ah, July. The days are longer, the nights are hotter, and the movies are louder, but fear not: Flavorwire has once again rounded up the best and most promising of this month’s narrative and documentary efforts from some of the smaller, less blockbuster-minded distributors and filmmakers.
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office

‘The Office’ Comes to a Poignant, Lovable Conclusion

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Last night on NBC, with the appropriate pomp and fanfare, The Office did what it should have done at the close of season seven: it came to an end. The American version of the British classic had an appropriate cause for conclusion when star Steve Carrel made his exit, but the Peacock wasn’t ready to let one of its few successes go quite that easily. So things got bumpy in Scranton, during an eighth year filled with miscalculations and peculiarities. But when original showrunner Greg Daniels was brought back in to steer the show snugly into port during its last season, a funny thing happened: The Office started to work again. And last night’s series finale was a fine, poignant wrap-up of an erratic but lovable show.
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louie-tuna

10 Louis C.K. Movies You (Probably) Haven’t Seen

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The new season of Mad Men is underway, the Breaking Bad premiere date is set, so as soon as the new season of Louie gets going, our summer viewing needs will be all taken care — oh hell, that’s right, Louie won’t be back until next spring. His new special has already aired, his promo tour for it is over; how the hell do you get your Louis C.K. fix these days? From YouTube, of course. Strangely, not many people are aware that Louie worked his way up to writing, directing, editing, and starring in Louie with two decades of short and indie film work; a quick tour of his early films offers a tantalizing glimpse at the development of his considerable… Read More

conanaudition

The Early Audition Tapes of Your Favorite Comics

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Earlier this week, Conan O’Brien’s website commemorated the 20th anniversary of his audition for Late Night by releasing a short clip from it, an abbreviated “mock show” in which he interviewed Mimi Rogers and Jason Alexander in front of a live studio audience. O’Brien is clearly nervous (and can you blame him?), but Lorne Michaels and the Late Night producers saw something in that performance, and gave him a shot. That’s the beauty of the great comic audition — even when a talent is a little rough around the edges, the joy of discovering someone fresh, new, and funny wins out. After the jump, we’ll take a look at that tape and several other killer auditions from very funny folks.
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tina-bank

The Embarrassing Early TV Commercials of Your Favorite Comic Actors

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Last week, the folks at Gawker did a bit of celebrity archaeology, discovering a 1993 TV ad for the NRA that featured a very young Molly Shannon. The soon-to-be Mary Catherine reached out to the site, emphasizing that she appeared in the spot when she was — direct quote, with emphasis — “A STRUGGLING ACTRESS,” and while we understand her taking pains to separate the spot from her own views, she’s hardly the first future famous funny person whose early work was only humorous in retrospect, and unintentionally. After the jump, we’ve got early commercials by several of our favorite comic actors — all equally embarrassing.
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oz

The 10 Most Inexplicably Expensive Movies Ever Made

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Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful is out this Friday, in case you haven’t looked at a magazine or a television or the side of a bus recently, and while we know it’s a big-budget would-be Mouse blockbuster, attempting to replicate the astonishing (and frankly inexplicable) success of Burton’s Alice in Wonderland three years back, we still had to pick our jaws up off the floor when we got a look at its monster budget: $325 million in production and marketing costs. Yes, you read that right: 325. No extra numbers in there.
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