Sundance: IFC to Land Jack Black Comedy ‘The D Train’ (EXCLUSIVE)

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Jack Black Is Brave, Heartbreaking In ‘D Train’ At Sundance.

“Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel prove with this film that they have arrived as one of the great new filmmaking teams in Hollywood,” said Jonathan Sehring, president of Sundance Selects/IFC Films. “They have crafted a smart, sensitive and hilarious film which features a terrific ensemble, led by the immense talent of Jack Black and James Marsden. IFC is close to signing a deal for U.S. distribution rights to “The D Train,” the high school reunion comedy that debuted this week at the Sundance Film Festival. The picture stars Jack Black as a former high school reject obsessed with landing the most popular member of the class (James Marsden) for their upcoming reunion. Dramatic competition screenings — “The Bronze” on Thursday night, and “The Overnight” and “The D Train” on Friday — brought the house down with unusual copulating between the main characters.

Landsman is still in search of high school popularity, and set on a mission to get peer turned failed actor Oliver Lawless, played by James Marsden to attend their 20-year reunion. Much has already been written about the acrobatic hookup in “The Bronze,” so we’ll concern ourselves with Friday’s entries in the “Most Surprising Sex Scene” competition. Variety critic Justin Chang had a mixed take on the film, writing, “this dark comedy might just as well be described as edgy and soft, audacious and coy, a largely enjoyable letdown.”

In “The Overnight,” about two couples spending a revealing evening together, much is made of the comparison of penis sizes between the under-endowed Alex (Adam Scott) and over-endowed Kurt (Jason Schwartzman). Gerry, played by Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn, is an empty shell of man who slumps through life in dumpy trousers listening only to Joe Navarro books on tape.

Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (“Half Nelson”) keep the motives and backstories of their leads ambiguous for most of the film, which laces every moment with tension and suspicion. Fleck joked that he didn’t know what she was talking about since he wasn’t there that day and moved on, eliciting some groans from audience members expecting a more thoughtful answer. Paul and Mogel, who’ve previously written studio fare, deftly handle their starry cast and venture into new territory for the genre, but they come off as bullies as much as they do brave. Nikki Reed was coy when asked about her rumored engagement to actor Ian Somerhalder, saying only, “Life is really great right now and I’m so excited for the future.” But she was effusive about her love for animals.

The entertainer came to Sundance on Saturday to host the third annual Catdance Film Festival, a celebration of cats on screen that benefits the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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