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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Gulliver's Travels

Jack Black: I'm kind of like a modern-day Jerry Lewis

March 29, 2011 |  3:51 pm

JackJack Black put on a show for movie exhibitors in Las Vegas on Monday night, rolling around on the stage and pretending to be a martial arts expert to help promote the upcoming 3-D release "Kung Fu Panda 2."

"This movie kicks so much butt that's there's going to be a national butt shortage when this movie is unleashed on theaters," he told the audience.

Um, perhaps. But the comedian probably doesn't need to drum up that much support for the sequel, due out May 26, anyway: The 2008 2-D original was a blockbuster, grossing more than $630 million worldwide.

Not such a big hit, however? Black's latest movie, "Gulliver's Travels," which cost 20th Century Fox about $112 million to produce but has collected only $42.7 million since its release last December. (Overseas the film has been far more successful, and is inching toward the $200-million mark.)

Asked why he thought the movie resonated abroad, Black shrugged.

"I'm like Jerry Lewis," he joked. "My agent called and was like, 'Hey, it turns out it's a hit!' "

In any case, he says, he prefers acting in animated movies, in part because a voice actor has more fashion freedom. (His choice of outfit onstage in front of the movie exhibitors Monday -- whom he referred to as a "swashbucklin' crew" -- included a Hawaiian-print button-up and a T-shirt with a tiger emblazoned  underneath.)

"It's also so much faster. You can do a ton of scenes in one day, whereas in a live-action movie you're doing five hours straight of a scene that's one minute," he explained. "This is less of a dull process."

-- Amy Kaufman in Las Vegas


Photo: Jack Black promotes his upcoming film "Kung Fu Panda 2" at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

2010 MTV Movie Awards: Jason Segel 'proud' of 'Get Him to the Greek' (VIDEO)

June 6, 2010 |  8:30 pm

Jason Segal When Jason Segel came down the red carpet at this year's MTV Movie Awards, we weren't sure what to ask him about first. The man's been keeping busy: In addition to his role on "How I Met Your Mother," he'll voice a character in this summer's "Despicable Me" and will co-star in the Jack Black comedy "Gulliver's Travels" later this year.

So how does he spend his coveted down time?

"I just sleep, mostly," he told us on the red carpet.

We were also, of course, curious about his thoughts on "Get Him to the Greek," which was directed by his buddy Nicholas Stoller, who also worked on Segel's "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."

"It's very exciting, they've been working hard on that. I'm just so proud of everyone involved," the very-tall Segel said. "Nick was at the helm of it, but I wrote some of the music and helped produce it a bit. But between Jonah and Russell and Nick, they didn't need much help."

-- Amy Kaufman


Photo: Jason Segel arrives at the MTV Movie Awards. Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

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Preview review: Jack Black is washed up in 'Gulliver's Travels'

June 4, 2010 |  9:00 pm

MV5BMjI1NDU1MjcxN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODczNTM1Mw@@._V1._SX510_SY755_Jack Black has made his name playing the the lazy-but-lovable goofball who manages to defy the odds by stumbling into greatness. His new role in the film "Gulliver's Travels" is no different, except that by now we're a little tired of the act.

The film, out in December, is a modern spin on the classic novel by Irishman Jonathan Swift. Black plays Lemuel Gulliver, a mailroom clerk who works at a magazine and aspires to become a writer. After fooling an editor (Amanda Peet) into believing he's a talented travel writer, he's assigned a piece on the Bermuda Triangle. But as soon as he's sent off on the exotic assignment, his boat overturns on the high seas and he wakes up to find himself on the mysterious island of Lilliput, where he slowly becomes the giant hero of the land's miniature-size population.

Sadly, we're not all that enthused by the trailer. While we'll admit we laughed when Gulliver has a silent freak-out in an elevator after his brief flirtatious encounter with Peet's character, the rest of his jokes here didn't land.

The effects also look a little bit hokey -- the waves crashing over Gulliver's head before his boat flips over look painfully fake, as does Gulliver's huge figure towering over his interesting cast of pint-size co-stars, including Emily Blunt and Jason Segel.

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