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Warner Bros. Passes on ‘Dumb and Dumber To’

Jim Carrey’s career as of late hasn’t been particularly strong.  He hasn’t had a legitimate hit since Bruce Almighty in 2003 and films such as Fun with Dick and Jane, The Number 23, Yes Man and Mr. Popper’s Penguins haven’t exactly been memorable.

2013 looks to be a little better as he will appear in Kick-Ass 2 and the Anchorman sequel later this year, but if an actor’s career is stalling, do what every other actor does and make sequels to some of your older hits.

Dumb and Dumber
Dumb and Dumber | (Everett)

A sequel to Dumb and Dumber has been rumored for years but Carrey has been more than a little reluctant to play Lloyd Christmas again (why?).  But after finally agreeing to do a sequel to the 1994 hit comedy, everyone thought his involvement would finally put the wheels in motion.  But the studio who made the original isn’t keen on the idea.

Warner Bros. has decided to pass on Dumb and Dumber To (Great title) despite the fact that the Farrelly brothers are not only back as writers/directors, but have also pitched a film with only a $30 million price tag.  The studio apparently has little faith that a sequel to a film nearly 20 years old will turn a profit so the writer-director siblings are shopping the project elsewhere.

The story finds Harry and Lloyd hitting the road in search of Harry’s illegitimate daughter.

It would be great to see Carrey let loose in a comedy again, as well as see Daniels return to a comedic role period.  Movie studios have been green-lighting sequels to old properties as of late (Wall Street, Rambo, Indiana Jones), so it’s only a matter of time before it happens again.  At the very least, a sequel to Dumb and Dumber would allow us all to rediscover the original and gladly forget about the 2003 prequel.

‘This is the End’ Review

This is the End could have easily come off as nothing more than an excuse for Seth Rogen and his Hollywood pals to get together to make a movie.  Just because a bunch of guys look like they’re having a good time making a movie doesn’t mean that will translate into an entertaining film (Think Ocean’s Twelve or any recent Adam Sandler movie).

But while the Apatow-schooled crew is certainly having a blast crudely insulting one another and dropping pop-culture references, what makes This is the End so gratifying is that it has heart as well as a message behind its frat-boy veneer.  It also doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the funniest comedies to hit theaters in years.

Marking the directorial debut for long-time writing collaborators Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the premise of the film is that while attending a party at James Franco’s house, Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill and Craig Robinson unwittingly experience the apocalypse.  With so much death and destruction occurring outside, they lock themselves in Franco’s home in an attempt to ride it out.

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This is the End | (IGN)

The main cast members all play heightened versions of themselves and the film also features a slew of cameos including Emma Watson, Rihanna, Jason Segal, Mindy Kaling and Paul Rudd.  Michael Cera’s small role in particular is memorable as he seems to be playing a character completely opposite to who he is in real life.

But the heart of the film is the main five guys hanging out in Franco’s house surviving off of a limited supply of weed, water, booze, cereal and a Milky Way.  Masters at the art of improvisation, the actors all shine at poking fun at some of the movies they’ve starred in and some of the socialites they may or may not have slept with.  But the film never turns into a vanity project as the story is allowed to move forward.

Baruchel and Rogen have grown somewhat apart as Barachel has tried to avoid the Hollywood lifestyle and the main focus of the film is these two character’s relationship.

Surprisingly, the film also has a religious aspect to it that is handled perfectly.  The actors question the meaning behind the end of the world and they turn to the Bible in an attempt to make sense of it all.  But that aspect of the story is never crammed down our throats as there are plenty of penis and fart jokes to get to.

Overall, This is the End works on many different levels.  The comedic elements are of course there, but the film also features entertaining set-pieces, decent-looking CGI (despite the limited budget) and without question the funniest exorcism ever put on film.  The film is crass, crude and clever; elements you’d expect from a Rogen joint.  But it’s also sweet, well-directed and never self-indulgent.  Plus there’s a scene in it that had me laughing so hard I was crying and that hasn’t happened in a movie theater for me in a long time.

Lucas and Spielberg’s Vision of the Future Not Bright for the Movie Business

Yesterday, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg spoke on a panel at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.  Few people in the business share a love and passion for movies as much as these guys, but they were more than somewhat worried at the future of the industry; particularly when it comes to Hollywood studios and their big-budget features.

“They’re going for the gold,” said Lucas.  “But that isn’t going to work forever.  And as a result they’re getting narrower and narrower in their focus.  People are going to get tired of it.  They’re not going to know how to do anything else.”

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George Lucas and Steven Spielberg | (IGN)

Spielberg agreed with that sentiment saying, “There’s eventually going to be a big meltdown.  There’s going to be an implosion where three or four maybe even a half-dozen of these mega-budgeted movies go crashing into the ground and that’s going to change the paradigm again.”

It’s kind of ironic that the two men who basically created the summer blockbuster, (Lucas with Star Wars, Spielberg with Jaws) think it will ultimately be the downfall of creativeness in the industry. 

Lucas also believes the focus on more expensive films will also result in more money out of your pocket to go to the theater.  “You’re going to end up with fewer theaters, bigger theaters with a lot of nice things.  Going to the movies will cost 50 bucks or 100 or 150 bucks, like what Broadway cost today, or a football game.  It’ll be an expensive thing.”

These are pretty bold statements, but perhaps a few costly failures will force the big studios to focus more on smaller and smarter films.  The industry has evolved many times before and while ticket prices have certainly increased over the years, I can’t see theater chains reducing the number of theaters they operate and charging obscene ticket prices any time soon.  They’re doing whatever they can to get customers off the couch and back in the theater.  Why would they risk alienating their customers more by closing theaters and raising prices?

 

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