A couple of weeks ago Screen Rant was asked by MGM studios to send a representative to Lake Tahoe, NV, to attend the press junket for the new comedy movie, Hot Tub Time Machine.
Screen Rant leader Vic Holtreman must have had some kind of mental breakdown, because he asked yours truly to go in his stead and represent our humble movie blog. And Tahoe may never be the same…
Let me just start by saying thank you to the fine folks at MGM for the opportunity to attend such an over-the-top event. The studio took care of us real well and showed us a good time :-).
There were well over a dozen online representatives from most of the major sites: Collider, Latino Review, C.H.U.D., Cinema Blend, Heavy, JoBlo and Film School Rejects. I even got to meet some really cool people from BET and Yahoo Movies as well. This event was in connection with a radio promotion contest that ran in the U.S. and Canada, so there were two winners from several cities, as well as the radio personalities from those cities. In all, I would venture to guess that well over 300 people attended the event.
Day 1 – Getting There is the Hardest Part
My journey started early in the morning 8 a.m. EST and required a 4-hour flight to Las Vegas, then a 1-hour jaunt to Reno, followed by a 1-hour shuttle trip to Lake Tahoe in a snow storm. Being from Florida, I was most excited to fly over the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam. Yeah, I know, I’m a tourist. Our driver was Russian and was obviously used to driving in the snow, which was apparent when he almost slammed us into an ice bank.
Regardless, we all arrived safely and after some free champagne at check-in (which I gave to the drunkard behind me because I don’t drink) and a little mingling at the exclusive welcome party, we all set off in a couple of buses to watch a screening of Hot Tub Time Machine.
We even got free popcorn and drink at the theater (which had to cost them a fortune because of theater concession prices). I really enjoyed the movie, even though the plot was flawed – but for more on that, check out our Hot Tub Time Machine review.
The day wasn’t over, though; while some of the older people decided to hit the hay, a lot of us decided to hang out most of the night talking shop at the casino bar. I didn’t get to sleep until 4 a.m. PST, which, after adding in the 3-hour time difference, means I was awake for 25 hours!
Day 2 – Time for Interviewing and Dancing
After a refreshing 4 hours of sleep in my ridiculously comfortable king-size bed, I woke to find three feet of snow outside my hotel room. Being from the Florida, where just the threat of snow means a city-wide shutdown, the first thing I had to do was step in it up to my thighs. In hindsight, I should have put on pants first but nonetheless it was incredible. Roundtable interviews weren’t until later that afternoon, so I had time to explore the local surroundings.
The Grand Hyatt Resort where we stayed was directly across the street from Lake Tahoe itself, so I took a stroll/slide down the ice-covered sidewalk to check it out. That place is truly breathtaking! The snow covered beaches were beautiful.
This was my first roundtable interview experience and I had the good fortune of sitting with Thor from Heavy, Robert from Film School Rejects, a quiet guy from BET online and some young college guy from Canada that had a HUGE man crush on Craig Robinson (dude even finished Robinson’s scotch that he left behind). Let me just say that, while the interviews were fun, they were very short and not very informative.
First up was director Steve Pink (see pic above), who was a pretty cool guy to talk to and didn’t seem to care whether anyone hates his film or not. He doesn’t give himself enough credit, because both of his films, Hot Tub Time Machine and Accepted are pretty good movies to watch. Pink does give lots of credit to Judd Apatow however, for the re-introduction of the rated “R” film:
“R rated comedies or R rated movies for a long time were just a very difficult thing to get made, period. And so he [Apatow] kinda created the resurgence of the R rated comedy and then kinda became the king of it. “
On an interesting note, Pink said the infamous squirrel from the film was only in the script once, but he loved it so much that he started adding him to multiple sections of the film.
Canadian College Guy: “Craig you have a pretty sweet gig on The Office. Just to do something like this, what was the motivation in mind?
Duke: “Money right?”
Robinson: “I loved the script. I laughed out loud. It was a nice-looking part and I thought I could have a little fun with it.”
It all went downhill from there, as the guys began talking about script writer Josh Heald being a pastor in New Jersey, which may or may not be true. He may also be either Unitarian or Southern Baptist, according to Corrdry and Duke. Next Robinson started talking about a place where you could rent hot tubs by the hour for sex in downtown Chicago and some references to olives. It’s probably best that we move on…
Crispin Glover was the next actor to join us at the table and he was a complete professional to speak with (not that the others weren’t). He talked a lot about his process in choosing films to star in, which is pretty much just selecting films he thinks will be financially successful so he can put that money into funding his own films. He currently has a trilogy of films in the works titled What Is It? about the actor Steven C. Stewart, who was born with a severe case of cerebral palsy. Glover is a incredibly deep person and takes great pride in how he selects and performs in each role he accepts.
Last (but certainly far from least) were the girls of the film: Collete Wolfe and Lizzy Caplan (but no Lyndsy Fonseca). The girls are fairly new to Hollywood, with only a handful of films between the both of them, so finding interview questions became sort of tough. Wolfe did say that her ideal role would in her own sitcom in the style of I Love Lucy. Caplan told us she had just signed on to Danny Boyle’s next film, 127 Hours and that the 2nd season of her show, Party Down, starts soon on Starz.
After the interviews were over, it was time to hit the actual heated pool and 1 of the 3 hot tubs the resort had to offer. I know you are jealous but deal with it.
Then it was time to party like it was 1986 and everyone was required to dress the part. I for one took it serious and managed to find a sweet snowsuit from the 80s. I may have lost about 10 pounds just from dancing in the darn thing. One awesome event that took place was Craig Robinson getting up on the stage in an 80s blonde wig and singing his version of “Jessie’s Girl” with the 80s cover band Aquanet. Check out the video:
Once the party ended everyone went back to hotel casino and hung out until the wee hours of the morning. Again, I didn’t get to sleep until almost 4 a.m. and got back up at 8 a.m. Sleep wasn’t really on my “To Do List” that weekend.
Day 3 – The Long Road Home
After a much more enjoyable shuttle trip to Reno, a long flight to Dallas, a long layover and one delayed flight, I finally made it home – 11 hours later! You know what? The whole trip was worth it. I got to make some new friends from my fellow movie sites and had a great time hanging out with Steve Pink “off the record.”
Thanks MGM for the good time and good movie; I look forward to doing it again.
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