<p>Emily Blunt, Jason Segel, Chris Pratt, and Alison Brie all star in the new comedy 'The Five-Year Engagement'</p>

Emily Blunt, Jason Segel, Chris Pratt, and Alison Brie all star in the new comedy 'The Five-Year Engagement'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: Segel and Blunt make 'Five Year Engagement' both funny and painful

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Nicholas Stoller's latest is messy but alive and filled with charming moments

Nicholas Stoller's films are frequently lumped in under the broader umbrella of "Judd Apatow movies," but I think that's not fair.  Yes, Apatow helped usher in a certain style of studio comedy that is now a major part of the landscape, but he doesn't write and direct every movie that he produces.  Stoller's movies, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall, "Get Him To The Greek," and this week's new release "The Five-Year Engagement," have their own identity, their own unruly voice, and I think he's doing a nice job of honing that identity from film to film.

Working with Jason Segel, it seems to me that Stoller is fascinated by just how far he can push a character or characters before they break.  In "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," Segel played wounded very well, and the gradual way he mended his heart was charted with honesty even though it was also packed with laughs.  "Greek" was all about testing the character played by Jonah Hill and seeing just how much he was willing to put up with from someone he idolized.  Now, with this film, Stoller and Segel are once again writing about something real, wrapping up some painful truth in some big comedy set piece moments, and if the film has a major flaw, it is inherent to the premise itself.

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<p>Todd Phillips has some experience with road trips go wrong, and it should be exciting to see what he does with the script by Jay and Mark Duplass.</p>

Todd Phillips has some experience with road trips go wrong, and it should be exciting to see what he does with the script by Jay and Mark Duplass.

Credit: HitFix

Todd Phillips hires Duplass Brothers to drive his adaptation of 'Mule'

What will the King Of Mean and the Turks of Quirk do together?

Here's a combination that I never would have expected.

The Duplass Brothers are on fire right now, working incredibly hard and putting out something like 85 movies a year.  Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, and at least part of that effect comes from seeing Mark Duplass show up in other people's movies like "Your Sister's Sister" or "Darling Companion" or on his TV series "The League."  Their movie "The Do-Deca Pentathalon" is getting a Fox Searchlight release later this year and their other new film, "Jeff Who Lives At Home" is still in some theaters now.

And as Todd Phillips prepares to start production on the final film in "The Hangover" series, he's also enjoying the recent success of "Project X."  Once he wraps up his mega-successful franchise, he's going to be looking for his next movie.  And it looks like that's going to be a film that brings him together with the Duplass Brothers, an unlikely marriage if I've ever seen one.

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<p>Alison Brie has tremendous fun in the new comedy 'The Five-Year Engagement'</p>

Alison Brie has tremendous fun in the new comedy 'The Five-Year Engagement'

Credit: HitFix

Watch: 'Community' star Alison Brie puts on an accent for '5 Year Engagement'

We talk with the busy actress about her new film and how she prepared for it

It must be a lovely time to be Alison Brie.

No matter what happens with "Community," the show definitely has an audience that loves it and is passionate about it, myself included.  And "Mad Men" returned this year after an unusually long hiatus and appears to have quickly reestablished its place at the center of pop culture.  Now, with "The Five Year Engagement," she's also on thousands of movie screens this weekend.

Lucky us.

She co-stars here as Suzie, sister to Violet (Emily Blunt), one of the leads of the film.  One of the ways Stoller and Jason Segel, the film's star and co-writer, illustrate the frustration of the prolonged engagement in the film is by etching in the details of a separate relationship where things move at a totally different pace.  Suzie ends up with Alex (Chris Pratt), and we see them start a family and start to evolve into real adults, and while they don't have a ton of screen time, they do a good job of showing some real growth as time passes.

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<p>Jason Statham is returning for another mission with 'The Expendables 2,' and today, we've got your first look at his character poster for this summer's action film.</p>

Jason Statham is returning for another mission with 'The Expendables 2,' and today, we've got your first look at his character poster for this summer's action film.

Credit: Lionsgate

Check out our exclusive 'Expendables 2' Jason Statham poster premiere

And then find out where you can see the rest of this summer's Dirty Dozen

I haven't seen the new "Expendables 2" trailer that premiered at CinemaCon this week, but it seems like it went over well with the crowd that was there.

No one would be happier to see this movie work than I would.  I want to believe.  I love action movies that don't remotely apologize for what they are and what they do, and if you do an ensemble film like this correctly, it can be tremendous fun.  While I didn't love the first film, the potential of it was potent, and the additions they're making this time absolutely make it worth taking another trip with the Expendables.

What additions?

Well, I'm glad you asked.

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<p>I love MacLaine's sequel idea she pitched, and I&nbsp;love how confused it seems to make Jack Black even more.</p>

I love MacLaine's sequel idea she pitched, and I love how confused it seems to make Jack Black even more.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Shirley MacLaine says Jack Black deserves Oscar for 'Bernie'

An unlikely pair make for a lively interview

Shirley MacLaine's been famous as long as I've been  aware of movies and movie stars, and she has been part of more classics than I can list here today.

She's one of those people who works infrequently enough that when you get a call asking if you want to interview them, you say yes no matter what the film is.  You say yes because you have no idea how many more opportunities there will be to speak to them and tell them how much their work has meant to you.

Thankfully, "Bernie" is more than just an opportunity for me to sit down with a great movie star.  My review will be up later, but it's safe to say I'm wildly enthusiastic about it, and I think both MacLaine and her co-star, Jack Black, give great performances in the movie.  Much of what they do is bouncing off of one another, so it makes perfect sense that they put the two of them together for the interview.

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<p>I'm not going to lie... this is exactly how I felt when I&nbsp;realized Neill Cumpston had sent me a review for this summer's 'The Avengers'</p>

I'm not going to lie... this is exactly how I felt when I realized Neill Cumpston had sent me a review for this summer's 'The Avengers'

Credit: Walt Disney Company/Marvel

Review: Neill Cumpston returns to review 'The Avengers'

An internet legend returns just in time to review the summer's biggest movie

Who is Neill Cumpston?

That question was asked of me frequently during my time at Ain't It Cool News, and over the years, I've heard other people answer that question with a fair degree of authority, accusing people of secretly writing Cumpston's reviews for AICN.  Peter Travers once claimed to know the "truth" about Neill.  But those people are crazy.  The entire time, I repeatedly explained that I met Neill standing in line at a test screening, and Neill is simply Neill.  He is a far more vocal example of a certain section of fandom than I am, and I love his pure enthusiasm.  I was happy to publish him not because he is famous, but because he is Neill.  If you don't know his work, check out his "Grindhouse" review.  Or his "Return Of The King" review.  Or his "Batman Begins" piece.  He is a work of art.

He's also completely insane, of course.  The way he connects the dots in his writing delights me from a purely anthropological point of view, and his use of profanity is Pulitzer-worthy.  Make no mistake… a Neill Cumpston review is flat-out filthy at times, but always for a purpose.

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<p>Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy are two of the bootlegging Bondurant brothers in John Hillcoat's 'Lawless,' set to head to Cannes in May before its US&nbsp;debut in August.</p>

Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy are two of the bootlegging Bondurant brothers in John Hillcoat's 'Lawless,' set to head to Cannes in May before its US debut in August.

Credit: The Weinstein Company

First 'Lawless' trailer makes great use of Oldman, Hardy, Pearce, and LaBeouf

Has John Hillcoat actually made a film that could be described as fun?

I was starting to think John Hillcoat was allergic to fun.

While I admire Hillcoat's commitment to the grim aesthetic he's pursued over his last few films, "The Proposition" and especially "The Road" are punishing experiences for a viewer.  Hillcoat seems to take some sort of pleasure in emotionally demolishing his audience, and he's seemed somewhat unwilling to even let in a little bit of light.

Now that we've got a trailer for "Lawless," his new film, I am more excited than I already was about seeing it at Cannes next month.  This looks like a blast, and it may well end up being the most commercial thing he's ever done as a filmmaker.

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<p>Iron Man and Captain America teaming up is just the first step of the truly wonderful 'The Avengers'</p>

Iron Man and Captain America teaming up is just the first step of the truly wonderful 'The Avengers'

Credit: Walt Disney Company/Marvel

Review: 'Avengers' assembles the best Marvel movie so far

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Joss Whedon's sure hand as a writer/director elevates the material tremendously

I've seen the film twice now, and I'm going to do my best to avoid pointless hyperbole in reviewing this. 

Short version:  it's tremendous entertainment, confident and complete in a way that none of the Marvel movies so far have been, and I say that as someone who likes the Marvel movies in general.  The company makes an incremental leap forward with this movie, and they've set the bar fairly high for themselves in the future.  I am pleased and impressed and feel like this more than pays off any emotional investment I made in the movies as they were being released.

When discussing "The Avengers" as a film, though, there are several ways to approach it.  You can look at it as a further evolution of what Joss Whedon does as a writer and director.  You can review it based on its place in the Marvel canon overall.  You can analyze how it fits into the overall genre of superhero films.  I think the only way to place it in the correct context is to approach it from all of those directions, because the film seems to occupy a unique place in pop culture, and considering how big a commercial product it is, there's something sort of revolutionary about its very existence.

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<p>General Aladeen loves competitive sports, especially when his opponents end up dead.</p>

General Aladeen loves competitive sports, especially when his opponents end up dead.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Sacha Baron Cohen brings special 'Dictator' screening to Las Vegas

The first screening of the film proves to be shockingly dirty and very funny

LAS VEGAS, NV - I drove four-and-a-half hours today to see a 75 minute movie.

I regret nothing.

The 11:00 PM screening of "The Dictator" started late, but the capacity audience seemed happy about it when Sacha Baron Cohen arrived in character as General Aladeen, the dictator of the small country of Wadiya, flanked by two armed guards and some preposterously hot bodyguards.

Evidently, Cohen made a similar appearance at the Caesars Palace Colliseum during the Paramount presentation earlier in the evening.  I wasn't there to see that, and I'm leaving Vegas again fairly early tomorrow morning.  I've got a lot to do this week in Los Angeles, and I figure we'll see much of this material soon anyway.  But the chance to see the first finished screening of the latest collaboration between director Larry Charles and Cohen as a new outrageous, larger-than-life character seemed to justify a quick overnight trip.

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<p>If I told Gina Carano she is the cutest killing machine around, would she slap me silly?&nbsp; More importantly, would I mind?</p>

If I told Gina Carano she is the cutest killing machine around, would she slap me silly?  More importantly, would I mind?

Credit: Relativity Media

Gina Carano in talks to join the team for 'Fast Six' in 2013

Is Vin Diesel prepared to have his butt kicked by a girl?

Gina Carano may be joining Dwayne Johnson's team for "Fast Six."

In related news, "Fast Six" is going to be awwwwwwwwesome.

Perhaps the single thing I most regret about missing this year's ActionFest in Asheville, North Carolina, aside from not getting to spend time with my parents who live in Asheville, was that Gina Carano attended this year to pick up the "Chick" Norris award.  I really dug "Haywire" when it came out earlier this year, and I just rewatched it when the Blu-ray was sent for review.

I also really liked "Fast Five," which I think is the single best distillation of what they've tried to do with the "Fast and the Furious" franchise overall.  In particular, adding Dwayne Johnson in the Tommy Lee Jones/"Fugitive" role was a stroke of genius, and it brought a brand-new energy to the fifth film in the series.

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