James Franco not only directed and stars in ‘As I Lay Dying’, but he also co-wrote the adaptation of William Faulkner’s classic original novel. Franco’s diverse cast include Danny McBride, Logan Marshall Green, Tim Blake Nelson, Ahna O’Reilly, Jesse Hieman, Beth Grant and Jim Parrack. Continue reading
If you’ve read Trashwire for any length of time, you know I love the cast of 30 Minutes or Less. We’ve had articles about Jesse Eisenberg’s star-making turn in The Social Network, several about Danny McBride adding flavor to any movie and even an interview with Nick Swardson. As hardcore fans of these guys, I saw the movie from a different perspective than most critics. Continue reading
Making a sword and sorcery comedy with Oscar-caliber actors can be a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you know you’ve got the best, most talented, and highly acclaimed cast available, but occasionally, they can make silly lines sound a little too professional. David Gordon Green’s Your Highness benefits and suffers from talent. Continue reading
Take Todd Phillips, director of wildly successful The Hangover, throw in that film’s most memorable star, Zach Galifianakis, add in Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr., and you should have a stellar comedy. With all that working in its favor, it’s a shame that Due Date fails to impress. Continue reading
Rape, balls, and a small penis are used for comedic purposes in telling the story of security officer Ronnie (Seth Rogen) in the new movie, Observe and Report, which premiered on Monday at SXSW. Continue reading
Danny McBride is like the bacon on a cheeseburger. Without it, the burger is still good, but there’s just something even more delicious when you slap a couple pieces of bacon on top. Like the extra flavor from the bacon, McBride brings that extra level of funny to everything he touches.
I first took notice of McBride way back in Hot Rod, the critically panned comedy starring the guys from The Lonely Island about a guy with a moped who longs to be a stuntman. McBride played Rico, a crass member of Rod’s crew, and instantly captured my attention with his overly serious and incredibly hilarious delivery.
He was also one of the main reasons I went to see Tropic Thunder, the Ben Stiller/Jack Black/Robert Downey Jr. action comedy about a group of actors who find themselves in the midst of actual warfare. Though I wanted to see the film anyway, I was over the edge when I heard that McBride played a pyro crew guy opposite Nick Nolte. Again, I wasn’t surprised when McBride stole all his scenes, though I was a little disappointed that he wasn’t in more of the film.
McBride solidified his place as my favorite comedy cheeseburger garnish with his stellar turn in Pineapple Express. Like the cheeseburger, the film was excellent to begin with, but every scene with McBride as Red had me laughing so hard I couldn’t catch my breath.
Naturally, I ran home ad added The Foot Fist Way to my Nexflix queue, anxiously awaiting the DVD’s release. Yesterday, I finally received it and popped it in the DVD player.
McBride playes Fred Simmons, a Tae Kwon Do instructor and self-professed “King of the Demo” who runs a little Tae Kwon Do school in his small town. With everything around him being small, Simmons feels like a big fish until he discovers his wife Suzie (Mary Jane Bostic) has cheated on him with her boss.
As his life starts to unravel, he starts getting drunk off his Tae Kwon Do authority and challenging his perceived inferiors. (In one of the funniest lines, he degrades a student saying “If you were in prison, you’d be raped because you exude feminine qualities.”) Along with students Julio (Spencer Moreno) and Henry (Carlos Lopez) and best friend Mike (director and co-writer Jody Hill chanelling Keanu Reeves) he seeks out his hero, martial arts celebrity Chuck “The Truck” Wallace, played by Ben Best.
After making a pilgramage to a martial arts convention, Simmons manages to convince Chuck “The Truck” to make an appearance at his class during the students’ final testing. Things don’t go according to plan when Chuck arrives at Simmons’ house, leaving him to find his own strength and power.
Shot in 2006 for less than the price of an SUV, The Foot Fist Way certainly looks like a low-budget film with basic titles and a grainy visual quality slightly above the original Clerks. The pacing and some of the ancillary performances could use a bit of polish as well, but it’s clear to see that there’s a diamond in the rough.
Just like with some of his larger budget films, McBride simply knows how to deliver a line to achieve maximum comedy. In one scene, he denigrates yoga saying, “Meditation is terrific and all, but I’ve never heard of it saving anyone from a gang rape type situation.” In another, he criticizes a student by telling him, “Your weakness is disgusting to me.”
Many have compared McBride’s performance to the so-serious-it’s-hilarous delivery of Will Ferrell. It may come as no surprise that Foot Fist is one of Ferrell’s favorite films and was released through Ferrell and Anchorman writer/director Adam McKay‘s company, Gary Sanchez Productions. Still others say that Fred Simmons is like a hybrid of a Ferrel character and unjustly arrogant boss David Brent from the original UK version of The Office.
Regardless of who might have inspired McBride’s performances, he is sure to inspire a few of his own and become everyone’s favorite comedy garnish in years to come.
The great “Movie Stoner Duo Hall of Fame” includes Cheech and Chong, Jay and Silent Bob, Harold and Kumar, and now Dale and Saul, the main characters in the ridiculously funny Pineapple Expresss. The brilliant team from Superbad is back with a brand new stoner comedy that is weird, outrageous and bizarre, all while being incredibly funny.
Like Superbad‘s Seth and Evan, this time our dynamic duo is Process Server Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) and his big-hearted drug dealer Saul Silver (James Franco) who become wrapped up in a deadly drug war after accidentally witnessing a crime. The drug lord and his crooked cop accomplice, played by Gary Cole and Rosie Perez, send two thugs (Craig Robinson of The Office and Kevin Corrigan) to track down Saul and Dale. In the process of evading capture, Saul and Dale must deal with quirky middle man Red, played to almost unthinkable perfection by Danny McBride.
The performances from the cast showcase some of the best comedic acting to date. Franco and Rogen expertly play off each other and there’s no doubt that many of the funniest lines were probably born from improvisation. This lends the film the same realistic tone of dialogue that made writers Rogen and long-time friend Evan Goldberg so great in Superbad.
The most refreshing part of any Rogen/Goldberg movie is the focus on the relationship between the two main characters. Nobody can capture the real essence of best friends like these two! Where most comedies will drag on with some kind of love interest, their films tend to focus on the “bro-mance” of being someone’s BFF. That kind of writing is a rare treasure in a sea of dumbed-down Hollywood buddy comedies.
Now that they’ve written two spectacular films, the bar will be extra high for Rogen and Goldberg when they treat us to their version of The Green Hornet in 2010.
View the trailer here:
Hot Rod is the feature film debut from The Dudes of The Lonely Island. Andy Samberg stars as Rod Kimble, a lovable weirdo in the Napoleon Dynamite vein, who aspires to be a great stuntman like his deceased father. Rod is supported by his stunt crew of Rico (Danny R. McBride), Dave (SNL‘s Bill Hader), his step-brother Kevin (fellow Lonely Islander Jorma Taccone) and his love interest Denise (Isla Fisher). Rod’s stepfather Frank, played by Deadwood‘s Ian McShane, doesn’t respect him and thinks he’s a wimp. To try to prove his toughness, Rod frequently challenges Frank to fist fights in the basement of the home he shares with his mother (Sissy Spacek). One day, Rod learns that Frank is in need of heart surgery and unable to fight him anymore. This infuriates him and he vows to raise the money for Frank’s operation so that, once Frank’s all better, Rod can kick his ass. Continue reading