Unfamiliar Stars, Familiar Vehicles

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The blessing and the curse of being a successful comedian like Amy Schumer is that your personality eventually becomes inextricable from your brand. The mere mention of your name comes with a great deal of baggage, and when audiences line up to see something to which you have attached your name, they will expect to be presented with a certain, established point of view. For Schumer, much of this is due to the success of her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer, a program of singular hilarity and ferocity. Dozens of sketches have aired in that show’s time on the air, but they all unmistakably come from the same thematic place. By the time she got around to making Trainwreck, her first cinematic starring vehicle, Schumer’s reputation started to precede her. This project was viewed as a Schumer vehicle first and foremost; so much so that director Judd Apatow, one of the major cinematic comedy figures of the 21st century, wound up taking an authorial backseat in terms of public perception. Continue reading

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Star Wars Episode VII: Now Starring Human Beings!

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I’ve long maintained that a new Star Wars film may not be the greatest idea, and I’ve grown increasingly bored by the nonstop reporting of non-news surrounding J.J. Abrams’ Episode VII. However, today we at last have real news, as the official cast was announced for the Internet to devour and go crazy over, despite the fact they’re probably just going to be angry at the final product when it comes out next year. Even so, when an image like the one above is released—showing the old favorites sitting in the same room as a group of talented young’uns—it’s hard to not get a little excited. For the first time in this entire process, I consider myself interested. Continue reading