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Release Date: June 22, 2012 Studio: Focus Features Director: Lorene Scafaria Screenwriter: Lorene Scafaria Starring: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Connie Britton, Adam Brody, Rob Corddry, Gillian Jacobs, Derek Luke, Melanie Lynskey, T.J. Miller, Mark Moses, Patton Oswalt, William Petersen Genre: Comedy MPAA Rating: R (for language including sexual references, some drug use and brief violence) Official Website: SeekingaFriendmovie.com | Facebook Review: Not Available DVD Review: Not Available DVD: Not Available Movie Poster: View here Production Stills: View here
Plot Summary: Taking audiences on a humorous, moving, and intimate journey against an epic backdrop of Earth’s final days, “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” is the feature directorial debut of screenwriter Lorene Scafaria. Set in a too-near future where time at once stands still and is slipping away forever, the writer/director explores what people will do and how they will feel when humanity’s end is near. A 70-mile-wide asteroid is en route to Earth, and the last best attempt to counter it has failed. Also failing is the marriage of soft-spoken insurance salesman Dodge (Golden Globe Award winner Steve Carell); the breaking news that the world will end in an estimated 21 days cues his wife to leave him on the spot. Dodge is a man who has always played by the rules of life, while his neighbor Penny (Academy Award nominee Keira Knightley) is an extroverted woman who hasn’t. From these opposite perspectives, both initially choose to navigate the impending end of the world with blinders on. Dodge declines joining his friends in increasingly reckless behavior, while Penny fixates on her relationship issues with a self-absorbed musician. The two misfits meet first when Penny has a rough night and then again when she belatedly delivers Dodge a lost letter. That letter could alter Dodge’s future; it’s from his high-school sweetheart Olivia, the love of his life. When a riot breaks out around their apartment building, Dodge realizes that he must seek Olivia out before it’s too late while Penny makes the decision to spend her last days with family in England. Seizing the moment, Dodge promises to help Penny reach her family if she will provide transport for the two of them in her car immediately. She agrees, and they escape. On the road together, the unlikely traveling companions’ respective personal journeys accelerate, and their outlooks – if not the world’s – brighten.
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Steve Carell and Keira Knightley star in the comedy "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World," which marks the feature directorial debut of screenwriter Lorene Scafaria ("Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist"). Set in a too-near future, the movie explores what people will do when humanity's last days are at hand. As the respective journeys of Dodge (Carell) and Penny (Knightley) converge, the two spark to each other and their outlooks – if not the world's – brighten.An asteroid is careening towards the Earth. Efforts to stop it—which we can only imagine being of the 1998 Bruce Willis/Ben Affleck feature Armageddon variety—have failed. The end is nigh. Everybody on the planet knows they only have three weeks left to live, so what do they do with their last days? That’s more or less the set-up for Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, the upcoming disaster rom-com from Focus Features starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley.Now taking bets on how far into the film before we hear R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” in the film. I’m betting the exact moment the Focus Features logo begins to fade from the screen, even before the cold open. And again every time anybody turns on a radio. And somebody will be whistling it in a taxi or on a bus. And once more in the end credits, just for good measure. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, who wrote the adapted screenplay for Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist as well as… hmm… that’s about it. She co-wrote one episode of the Rob Corddry/David Wain late night black comedy Children’s Hospital with her friend Diablo Cody and one of Scafaria’s original songs was featured in Drew Barrymore’s 2009 coming-of-age film Whip It!. That’s pretty much all the internet can tell us about Lorene Scafaria. We can’t even judge her voice from the one movie under her belt because Nick & Nora was adapted from a popular novel (though, to be fair, The Social Network was an adaptation and played pretty well into Aaron Sorkin’s established screenwriting vernacular) so forgive us for being a bit skeptical about what we’re walking into with this film.According to the Mayan calendar 2012 is meant to be the year the world ends. We’ve been watching planet Earth go to poop for decades and audiences have become almost immune to concept. A twist on the genre has appeared courtesy of the new trailer for ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’. It’s a light comedic take on the end of days starring Steve Carell and Kiera Knightly. Not the best comedic pairing but the trailer is great and the supporting cast boasts Patton Oswalt, Connie Britton, Gillian Jacobs and Rob Corddry. It’s written and directed by ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’ scribe Lorene Scafaria and looks like a lot of fun with a light dash of heart and a giant asteroid heading toward Earth.Who will you spend the last day Earth exists with? That’s the question Steve Carell and Keira Knightley must face in the upcoming comedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.
When Dodge’s (Carell) wife leaves in a panic after it’s announced that an asteroid will end the world in three weeks, he goes into a mid-life crisis and seeks a way to find happiness before doomsday. Penny (Knightley), his neighbor, is distraught she’ll never see her family again, and the two promise to help each other before the world ends.The film, which premieres June 22, 20212, also stars Adam Brody, Patton Oswalt and Derek Luke and is directed by Lorene Scafaria from a script she wrote. Movie IN HD After recently adding the poster for the Focus Features release helmed by Lorene Scafaria, we are pleased to give you a look at the trailer, courtesy of Yahoo Movies.The romantic dramedy scripted by Scafaria finds theaters June 22nd. With an asteroid nearing Earth a man (Steve Carell) ends up alone as his panicking wife leaves. He then takes a trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart, but is accompanied by his neighbor (Keira Knightley) who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan.The film also stars Derek Luke, Adam Brody, Rob Corddry and Gillian Jacobs, and is rated R for language including sexual references, some drug use and brief violence. Yeah, her duty to her father and her duty to her boyfriend, because she's a real confidant for him. Their intimacy is such an incredible element, and I think that Gwen has been in control her whole life. She's the oldest daughter of a police chief, who is constantly terrified that her father is going to die everyday. She has to have an element of being smart because she has to be. She's a valedictorian because she has to be. She has to take care of things and be responsible for her family and I think that being able to let go and trust somebody who puts themselves in the face of death of everyday, too, that's like, great, now she's drawn to another person that could die at any moment and she has to keep his secret and pick and choose between her first love which is her father, of course, like every girl. That's the first man in your life and then her first boyfriend. So, it's a pretty complex situation for Gwen, and there's a lot of, I think, sadness and fear in her life combined with the fact that she's outwardly confident and strong and smart and takes no bullshit. She's soft and 17 underneath it all. There's a great source of drama, and Gwen is at the center of this in a lot of ways – there's competing ideas of what's good. These people, everybody's heart is in the right place, but they execute their plans in different ways and that goes for The Lizard and Curt Connors as well. Gwen in particular is stuck between [her father] the Captain and Peter Parker and Spider-Man who have different ways about going about finding justice in their lives. I think that's a really fun thing to explore in the movie.
Kate Hudson is a free-spirited woman (does she play any other kind?) dying from “ass cancer” in A Little Bit of Heaven, an awkward mixture of melodrama and whimsical romantic comedy that should make the briefest of appearances in theatres before, like its main character, moving on to other planes. It might serve a valuable purpose if it at least prompts viewers to finally schedule those long-delayed colonoscopies.
Advertising exec Marley (Hudson) lives a carefree existence in New Orleans, signaled by her early morning bike rides through the scenic environs of the French Quarter. The sort of irreverent type who turns a pitch meeting with a condom manufacturer into a comic diatribe about female sexuality, she’s commitment-phobic and happily childless despite such positive examples as her pregnant best friend’s (Rosemarie DeWitt) domestic bliss.
Her world is rocked when she undergoes a colonoscopy after some troublesome symptoms and is informed that she’s suffering from an aggressive form of colon cancer. During the procedure, she has a fantasy of ascending to heaven where she meets God, who takes the form of Whoopi Goldberg and grants her three wishes.
During her debilitating chemotherapy treatments, Marley finds herself comforted by her burgeoning romance with her hunky physician (Gael García Bernal), who one of her friends (Lucy Punch) points out is the sort of impossibly good-looking doctor who only appears in soap operas. His Mexican-Jewish heritage does, however, provide the opportunity for Marley to joke about going out for “gefilte fish tacos.”
Her friends and family—including her meddlesome mother (Kathy Bates) and estranged, control-freak father (Treat Williams)—do their best to offer moral support. Her gay neighbor (Romany Malco) even arranges for a visit by a dwarf male escort (a very funny Peter Dinklage), whose amusing self-description provides the film’s title.
Will Marley learn to embrace love before it’s too late? That’s the not-quite-burning central issue of Gren Wells’ tone-deaf screenplay, which features such lines as Marley’s declaration that “I want to put the ‘fun’ back in funeral.” Director Nicole Kassell ( The Woodsman) relies heavily on the photogenic charms of the two leads, as well as the solid performances by the prestigious supporting cast. But their efforts are not enough to make this trivialization of a tragic subject any more palatable.
Screen Rant’s Kofi Outlaw Reviews Think Like a Man
Ensemble romantic comedies are often sweeping and superficial looks at the so-called entirety of the dating scene, rather than an investment in a single, deeper story about love. Films like He’s Just Not That Into You or any of the holiday-themed ensemble rom-coms of the last few years – Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve - are successes in large part because they attract a wide net of viewers with their star-studded casts. However, Think Like a Man has an uphill battle in that regard, since it features a cast of primarily African-American stars.
The real question (as always) is: will this film appeal to a wider moviegoing audience? And more to the point: does it have any appeal at all?
The story revolves around a group of male friends played by Michael Ealy (Underworld Awakening), Terrence Jenkins (The Game), Romany Malco (40 Year-Old Virgin), Kevin Hart (Death at a Funeral) and resident white friends Jerry Ferrara (Entourage) and Gary Owen (House of Payne). The guys each represent a certain “type” – “dreamer,” “slacker,” &ldquolayer,” “momma’s boy,” misogynist – but they are all thrown a collective curveball when comedian Steve Harvey – or as the movie refers to him, ‘that host of Family Feud‘ - writes a book that exposes the inner workings of mens’ minds to all those women looking for a leg-up in the war of love.
When the girl “types” – easy girl Meagan Good (The Unborn), single mom Regina Hall (Scary Movie), lonely career gal Taraji P. Henson (Hustle ‘N Flow), and ‘one of the guys’ girlfriend Gabrielle Union (Bad Boys 2) – eventually encounter their respective mates, they do so with the mindset of not making the same old mistakes, and doing things the Steve Harvey way. However, when the boys learn that the girls are using a book as their romantic guide, they mount a psychological counter-attack to regain their lost ground on the battlefield.
Michael Ealy and Taraji P. Henson in 'Think Like a Man'
Think Like a Man‘s greatest strength is the quality of its construction: it is much smarter in terms of both structure and story than so many other ensemble rom-coms have managed to be. (It’s also smarter than a lot viewers might expect from watching the trailers.) Sure, the whole thing is an unashamed (and simultaneously shameful) endorsement of Steve Harvey’s bestselling self-help book, but screenwriters David A. Newman and Keith Merryman – the duo who wrote the topical rom-com Friends with Benefits - and director Tim Story (Fantastic Four, Barber Shop) manage to create a timely, lighthearted, and (most importantly) honest look at what gender politics have become in the new millennium – and all the confusion and struggles that come with. In short: this is probably one the better and more entertaining adaptations of a self-help book you’re likely to see.
The film itself is structured as a chronicle of war, starting with an animated segment about manhood that is lifted right out of the animated series The Boondocks. From there, we are introduced to our various male and female “types” before we move on to the “vs.” rounds, wherein the types are arranged into the pairings that provide the interlocking story arcs of the film (for example, “The Momma’s Boy vs. The Single Mother&rdquo. The movie then takes us through the familiar rom-com formula of love, break up, and reconciliation – albeit with total self-awareness of its own cliched path (as voiced by the not-so-subtle narration of Kevin Hart’s character).
L to R: Meagan Good, Romany Malco, Regina Hall, Gary Owen, Terrence Jenkins, Kevin Hart
While the contrived structure of the story and blatant reliance on character “types” seem, on paper, like the recipe for a flat and two-dimensional movie, the cast of Think Like a Man succeed (for the most part) in elevating their archetypes and making them into relatable characters for viewers of both genders to engage with. Some of the actors – Ealy, Henson, Hall and Malco – are certainly better (in some cases much better) than others – Jenkins, Good, Ferrara – but the weaker actors are paired with stronger actors so that scenes of the individual relationships are never complete disasters, even if the weaker links falter. Similarly, some of the storylines are better than others (Henson and Ealy’s is the best by far), but all of them are sufficiently developed and offer ample (if not predictable) payoff. The strongest scenes are when the couples separate into their male and female herds for some humorous rumination and trash-talking – with the exception of scenes featuring Meagan Good and her best friend played by La La Anthony (Carmelo’s wife), which are like discourses on terrible acting.
To the movie’s credit, the various “types” and relationship arrangements are all somewhat relevant – that is to say, it’s easy recognize our own relationships and/or personalities in at least one of the scenarios or characters. Merryman and Newman are also unafraid to break from the usual timid rom-com policy of political correctness; Think Like a Man is probably the best use of “token” characters I have seen.
Gary Owen steals many moments as Bennett, the boring, happily married white guy who is always ready and willing to offer some whitebread levelheaded wisdom to his chest-thumping black friends. Owen turns the usual caricature (the token group member) completely on its head by being unapologetically what he is: boring, white, happily married and better off for it. The presence of Owen and Ferrara creates an even better dynamic in the group: scenes where the guys argue about behaviors and attitudes that are endemic to black and/or white culture are earnest, honest and refreshing to see.
In terms of tone, the movie is not concerned with offering over-the-top slapstick or raunchy humor (those aspects are well quarantined within Kevin Hart’s character) -rather, Think Like a Man is concerned with telling a more genuine and pointed story about love and relationships, sprinkled with a few sight gags (Kevin Hart is short – get it?), reoccurring jokes (see: Chris Brown’s cameo as a Lothario dirtbag), a few winking celebrity cameos, and plenty of observational humor. Those yearning for the “comedy” end of ‘romantic comedy’ might feel a bit shortchanged – then again, the movie does provide plenty to chew on, and the respective story arcs are executed well enough to make the overall journey worthwhile.
Kofi Outlaw Reviews Comic-Con Episdoe IV: A Fan’s Hope
Morgan Spurlock’s latest documentary focuses on a small slice of Americana rather than commenting on the entire apple pie (see: Super-Size Me, Greatest Movie Ever Sold); it also keeps the prolific documentarian behind the camera, rather than in front of it. Whether you’re a fan or not of Spurlock’s previous documentary features, you’ll want to know going in that you’re going to get something slightly different with Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope - in every sense of the term.
Many people today (in America and well beyond) know about the San Diego Comic-Con. Every July, geeks, nerds, movie studios, media outlets and pop-culture enthusiasts of all types descend upon the San Diego Convention Center for 4 days of unabashed geekdom, and, in recent years, media marketing and promotion. But there are those for whom Comic-Con represents hope – a bridge between their present circumstances and their dreams of a career, fame – even love. By following a “cast of characters” who all attended the 2010 Comic-Con with big dreams in tow, Spurlock tries to capture the spirit of this revered geek mecca through the stories of those present – and of course, a few celebrity guests.
Comic-Con Episode IV is a hard one to judge. After all, I was at Comic-Con 2010 and saw, first-hand, some of the events and/or people featured in the film (talking to you, potbellied Green Lantern guy). I’ve also been attending the ‘Con (as we vets like to call it) for years, and have long since formulated my own impressions, opinions, and memories about the convention itself, and the people who frequent it. I say that to say: I’m not without my bias.
That said, for me the documentary is hardly revealing or surprising – more re-affirming and amusing in the same fashion as re-telling old stories about a crazy trip you once took. However, for those who know little to nothing about this niche of Americana life – beyond what major media outlets like to report around the time of the convention – this documentary will expose you to things you may have never truly grasped about Comic-Con. The over-arching question I came away with, is: will that insight give you new appreciation for the people who love and celebrate this culture and lifestyle – or simply provide another opportunity to laugh at them?
Designer Holly Conrad (center) and her 'Mass Effect' Costume Players
Perhaps this is why Spurlock left himself out of the film this time around. By simply presenting the “characters” – which include bartender/artist Skip Harvey, costume designer Holly Conrad, military family man/artist Eric Henson, Mile High Comics owner Chuck Rozanski, and lovebirds Se Young Kang and James Darling – simply as they are, without prompting, the filmmaker avoids any commentary on who these people are, or the validity of their dreams. We are simply left to take these unique human beings as they are, and some people will inevitably take them as being…well, strange.
Spurlock does succeed in telling a complete story arc for each of his “characters,” tracing their journeys through the 4-day act that is Comic-Con. There are moments of genuine sentiment – both happy and sad – as some dreams are fulfilled, and others are not. But with a few debatable exceptions, the film does succeed in getting you to care about the characters it presents.
The celebrity cameos include names that probably ring louder in the halls of the ‘Con than in the mainstream arena. Avengers director Joss Whedon provides passionate and witty commentary on geek culture; blogger godfather Harry Knowles of Ain’t it Cool News reminisces on the convention like a proud uncle; actor/comedian Seth Rogen talks about the inexplicable joy of being a geek; while comic book icons like writer Grant Morrison (Batman), DC animation guru Paul Dini (Batman the Animated Series) and Marvel co-creator Stan “The Man” Lee all wax philosophic about why comic books are important, and/or how the convention has been transformed by Hollywood over the years. There are other famous faces that also show up, to share impressions, opinions and stories.
Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma) certainly makes his presence felt – both as a no-holds-barred narrator and the MC for what may be one of the strangest marriage proposals ever filmed. Smith at once manages to deliver a compassionate defense of geek culture and an all-too-self-aware mockery of it; he also curses so frequently that after awhile he had to be bleeped, rather than exceed the MPAA’s allotted limit for a PG-13 rating. But hey: you ask for Kevin Smith, you get Kevin Smith.
In the end, Comic-Con Episode IV is best suited to those curious about the convention and/or culture – or those who already embrace it and just want to relive the experience before the next ‘Con inevitably comes. There’s nothing monumental or enlightening about the film, but it does offer an enjoyable time.
Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope is now playing in limited release and is available on Video On Demand through select cable and online streaming providers.
Man on a Ledge will have a long and prosperous life playing on TNT for the next 134 years. That’s not an insult. Not every thriller needs to pump up our adrenaline, not every heist film has to dizzy our minds, and not every drama has to make us reconsider men and the ledges they stand on. Sometimes it’s enough to simply be a fun little movie that can play in the background while you’re working on something else. For the most part, Man on a Ledge manages to clear its modest bar but some key miscasting and wasted performances keep it from reaching the levels of The Negotiator or In the Line of Fire.
Ex-cop Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) has been sentenced to prison for the rest of his life for a crime he didn’t commit: stealing the $40 million Monarch diamond from evil, rich white guy David Englander (Ed Harris). Nick escapes from prison and makes his way to the Roosevelt Hotel (owned by Englander) and puts himself on a ledge under the guise of a suicidal jumper. He requests broken down negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) to talk him off the ledge, but his goal is to get the street shut down the street and pull the attention of the cops is all a distraction so his brother Joel (Jamie Bell) and Joel’s ridiculously hot girlfriend Angie (Genesis Rodriguez) can rob Englander’s vault across the street.
There are no grand aspirations here but it’s not a lazy film either. Documentary director Asger Leth makes his feature debut and he’s adept at keeping the tension even if he uses up his allotment of panning, vertigo shots. The overall package is a nice little dramatic thriller where strong character actors like William Sadler and Titus Welliver can drift around the main cast, and the movie can deliver excitement without setting off explosions or even firing a barrage of bullets. Man on a Ledge attempts to do a few things right rather than throw everything at the audience and hope that something of it will come off as entertaining.
However, with so few avenues to deliver thrills, there’s far more pressure to make sure those plotlines work, and only half of Man on a Ledge really clicks together. The characters have simple motivations and aren’t particular deep, so it’s all on the actors to provide the personality and performances that are essential to this kind of modest thriller. I can shrug and sigh that Ed Harris is given nothing to do other than be Evil Rich White Guy and that the role is a waste of his time and talent. But his character is really nothing more than a plot point, and it’s the relationships between Nick & Lydia and Joel & Angie that hold up the movie.
Unfortunately, Nick & Lydia don’t work as well as they need to. Banks is woefully miscast as a weary, depressed negotiator. Her features and personality are too soft and while the actress is a wonder at comedy, and she did some adequate dramatic work in The Next Three Days and The Details, Lydia needed a Sandra Bullock-type in the role. Worthington doesn’t offer much on his part either. There’s no chemistry between him and Banks, and his character is stuck on a ledge so there’s not much for the character to do other than talk into his earpiece and play Lydia for a sap.
Thank goodness for the Joel/Angie plotline. There’s no levity in the Nick/Lydia story, and Leth makes up for it by being sillier with the supporting characters. He cast Kyra Sedgwick as a reporter named “Suzie Morales”, and he has no problem making sure that Rodriguez is sexy as hell in every frame of the picture. When she’s not dressed in a cleavage-friendly top, she’s in her underwear, and when she’s not in her underwear, she’s in a skin-tight leather suit. It’s exploitative, but we laughingly accept it because Bell and Rodriguez have such wonderful chemistry no matter what Angie is wearing. The two banter, bicker, and their interplay helps us to overlook the fact that two amateur thieves have the knowledge and equipment to rip off a state-of-the-art security system.
Man on a Ledge also deserves credit for providing an interesting subtext at ground level. At the beginning of the movie, the onlookers are shouting “Jump!” and taking bets on how long Nick will last before he splatters on the pavement. Then at one point, Nick showers them with money in order to provide further distraction and suddenly he’s the people’s hero. They still have no idea about the identity of the jumper, but now they’re rooting for him. And since the real nemesis is Evil Rich White Guy, it seemingly taps into the long-overdue zeitgeist against the heartless business men who will ruin the lives of noble cops like Nick in order to stay wealthy. But the scathing critique is against the crowd. Their fickle, callow attitude and desire for entertainment above all else makes them come off far worse than the one-dimensional Englander.
But Man on a Ledge is a thriller first, and it should be. People don’t come to a B-movie thriller for a lecture (and they certainly don’t show up when the criticism is leveled against them). The film’s audience wants to stop looking up at the Man on a Ledge and be on the ledge with him. But it’s not very interesting where he’s standing. No matter how long the film plays on basic cable, you’ll always want to leave the Man on a Ledge and go back to the Thieves in another Building.