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15 Famous Movie Fat Kids

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15 Famous Movie Fat Kids

Matthew Lillard joins the ever-growing line of actors-turned-directors this weekend with Fat Kid Rules the World, an adaptation of KL Going’s young adult novel about a suicidal, 296-pound teen who finds salvation in rock music. Rising star Jacob Wysocki plays the beefy protagonist, bringing to life the kind of character who’s notoriously, historically sidelined. Cinema wasn’t always keen on putting plus-size players in front of the camera, but as the medium evolved, so did the exposure, and overweight characters, however often ridiculed, became the kind of scene-stealers viewers grow to love. It’s an archetype particularly common in kids movies, where the themes are as light-hearted as the bullies are nasty. See which cake-loving whippersnappers we corralled for this list, a celebration of the filmic fat kid.

The Goonies

Jeff Cohen in The Goonies (1985). He may not be the most efficient explorer, but it’s pretty tough to hate on Lawrence “Chunk” Cohen, the pudgy member of the titular gang in Richard Donner’s The Goonies. Chunk, after all, is the character who frees and befriends gentle giant Sloth (John Matuszak), thanks to a mutual affinity for the ecstasy of Baby Ruth bars. The pair of chocolate lovers are the ones who save their pals in a pinch, exemplifying the film’s underdog cheerleading.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Michael Bollner in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971). The kids on this list may be ridiculed for their ample waistlines, but none are as punished for their appetites as Augustus Gloop (Michael Bollner), the German candy lover whose thirst for chocolate sends him tumbling into a river of the stuff, only to wind up lodged in a drainage pipe. One down, four to go in this moral-driven muscial, which caps off each spoiled brat’s exit with an Oompa Loompa jingle.

Donnie Darko

Jolene Purdy in Donnie Darko (2001). “Chut up!” Cherita Chen (Jolene Purdy) barks to her number-one crush, Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal), as he assures her that, one day, things will be better for her. And so it goes with most fat kids in movies: We all know that once they usher themselves past high school, the characters will find ways to better ease themselves into society. For Cherita, let’s hope she blossomed into her own Autumn Angel, keeping warm with a fancy pair of earmuffs.

A League of Thier Own

Justin Scheller in A League of Their Own (1992). “You’re gonna lose!” squeaks the monster that is Stillwell, a ballplayer’s son who has to go on the road with the rest of the Rockford Peaches, the spotlighted team in Penny Marshall’s A League of Their Own. Running around like a maniac on the Peaches’ tour bus, Stillwell prompts “All the Way” May (Madonna) to to go after him with a bat, and things look ugly until Stillwell’s mommy (Bitty Schram) quiets her son with—what else?—a chocolate bar.

Mean Creek

Josh Peck in Mean Creek (2004). Soon to appear in the remake of Red Dawn, Josh Peck has whittled himself down to a lean machine, but in 2004’s Mean Creek, he was the fat kid among his friends—the bully, in fact, whom Kieran Culkin and company try to teach a lesson. Taking the meaty meanie on a canoe trip, the teens accidentally commit murder, kicking off a tense and morally murky series of events. This is the rare film in which the fat kid is both villain and victim.

Stand By Me

Jerry O’Connell in Stand By Me (1986). Jerry O’Connell left his baby fat behind him long ago, but he’s still probably most beloved for his turn as Vern Tessio in Stand by Me, Rob Reiner’s rite-of-passage dramedy about friends, corpses, and junkyard dogs. It’s the timid Vern who initiates the epic search for the body of Ray Brower, a local boy who recently disappeared, and whose discovery holds serious existential weight for the protagonists. Naturally, Vern’s confidence gets a major boost by film’s end, leading, we learn, to a marriage right out of high school.

Terri

Jacob Wysocki in Terri (2011). Wysocki may star in this weekend’s release, but he actually broke out in 2011’s Terri, a dramedy from Momma’s Man helmer Azazel Jacobs. Co-starring John C. Reilly, the movie follows the eponymous, overweight misfit as he begins wearing pajamas to school, feeding a depression that Reilly’s assistant principal tries to head off at the pass. Wysocki offers some affecting work, and the film digs deeper than your average high-school angst-fest.

Our Gang

Norman Chaney in The Our Gang comedies (1929 to 1931). Before Norman Chaney took the role, Joe Cobb played the character of Chubby, the rotund member of Our Gang, whose series of comedies gave us The Little Rascals. Chubby appeared in School’s Out, Teacher’s Pet, and Helping Grandma, among others, all when Chaney was roughly 12 years old. It may have been the role that killed the actor: he died at 21 from weight-related ailments.

South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut

Eric Cartman in South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut (1999). Since the small screen simply couldn’t hold all those Beefcake antics, Eric Cartman needed a path to the cinema, where his two-dimensional girth could be enjoyed in theatrical glory. In this feature adaptation of the Comedy Central hit, enhanced by Trey Parker and Matt Stone to include Saddam Hussein and Satan, Cartman gets implanted with a chip designed to punish him for profanity, and he’s also haunted by the ghost of his habitually dead friend Kenny. Bigger venue, bigger troubles.

National Lampoon's European Vacation

Dana Hill in National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985). Dana Hill’s Audrey wasn’t exactly a porker in National Lampoon’s European Vacation, but the character lets her weight struggles torture her, to the extent of having vivid nightmares and pesky boyfriend problems (as if she didn’t have enough trouble with her disaster-prone father). Hill’s real story is in fact a tragic one. Type I diabetes stunted her growth (leading to the playing of characters well below her age), and she ultimately died at 32 from disease complications. Audrey is one of the few screen roles she left behind.

Heavyweights

Aaron Schwartz in Heavyweights (1995). Judd Apatow co-wrote this 1990s fat-camp comedy, which was flecked with such nudge-nudge bits as casting Ben Stiller as a villain named Tony Perkins. It also features a lead performance from young Aaron Schwartz, whose kind-hearted Gerry ultimately helps lead the charge against all the Camp Hope slave drivers. Schwartz didn’t exactly follow the film with a career surge—he now has a recurring role as a doorman on Gossip Girl.

King of Ping Pong

Jerry Johansson in King of Ping Pong (2008). Jens Jønsson’s painterly Nordic drama didn’t get a lot of play, but it delivered an emotionally mighty story about a pair of brothers, one of whom is the school’s walking abuse magnet. Rille (Jerry Johansson) has a whole lot of pounds on his younger sibling, a fact that creates tension for both boys in their snowbound community. Rille turns to ping pong to find a sense of worth, and his ascent coincides with some riveting family developments.

Bad Santa

Brett Kelly in Bad Santa (2003). It takes a certain kind of parent to allow her son to star opposite Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa, a film that sees the star hurl insults at Brett Kelly’s nameless, chubby tyke. Particularly fond of making sandwiches, The Kid emerges as Thornton’s character’s conscience, and, inevitably he helps facilitate a streak of redemption inside douchey St. Nick.

Lord of the Flies

Hugh Edwards in Lord of the Flies (1963). In Peter Brooks’s adaptation of William Golding’s classic, Hugh Edwards takes on the role of Piggy, the bespectacled brainiac among the story’s crash survivors, whose glasses become a pivotal element of the plot. Piggy’s eventual death is a development whose implications are two-fold, supporting the notion of survival of the fittest and exposing the true savagery of the teenage islanders.

Up

Russel in Up (2009). Jordan Nagai provides the voice for young and plucky Russell, the gentle scout who finds himself stranded on Carl Frederickson’s porch, and proceeds to embark on an adventure to fulfill his host’s dream. Befriending a dog named Dug and a prehistoric bird named Kevin, Russell gets the most of his daring vacation, eventually earning from Carl the respect he couldn’t find at home. The plump hero takes part in a last-act merit-badge ceremony that’s as triumphant as it is tear-jerking.

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Watch: The Long-Awaited Deadwood Movie Gets Teaser Trailer and Premiere Date

Welcome to fucking Deadwood!

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Deadwood
Photo: HBO

At long last, we’re finally going to see more of Deadwood. Very soon after the HBO series’s cancellation in 2006, creator David Milch announced that he agreed to produce a pair of two-hour films to tie up the loose ends left after the third season. It’s been a long road since, and after many false starts over the years, production on one standalone film started in fall 2018. And today we have a glorious teaser for the film, which releases on HBO on May 31. Below is the official description of the film:

The Deadwood film follows the indelible characters of the series, who are reunited after ten years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.

And below is the teaser trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAcftIUE6MQ

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

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Watch: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Gets Teaser Trailer

When it rains, it pours.

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Photo: Columbia Pictures

When it rains, it pours. Four days after Quentin Tarantino once more laid into John Ford in a piece written for his Beverly Cinema website that saw the filmmaker referring to Ford’s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon as Tie a Yellow Ribbon, and two days after Columbia Pictures released poster art for QT’s ninth feature that wasn’t exactly of the highest order, the studio has released a teaser for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film was announced early last year, with Tarantino describing it as “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.”

Set on the eve of the Manson family murders, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tells the story of TV actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), as they try to get involved in the film industry. The film also stars Margot Robbie (as Sharon Tate), Al Pacino, the late Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, and Bruce Dern in a part originally intended for the late Burt Reynolds.

See the teaser below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scf8nIJCvs4

Columbia Pictures will release Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on July 26.

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Watch the Stranger Things 3 Trailer, and to the Tune of Mötley Crüe and the Who

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence.

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Stranger Things 3
Photo: Netflix

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence. On Friday, Jeff Tremaine’s The Dirt, a biopic about Mötley Crüe’s rise to fame, drops on Netflix. Today, the streaming service has released the trailer for the third season of Stranger Things. The clip opens with the strains of Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home,” all the better to underline that the peace and quiet that returned to the fictional rural town of Hawkins, Indiana at the end of the show’s second season is just waiting to be upset again.

Little is known about the plot of the new season, and the trailer keeps things pretty vague, though the Duffer Brothers have suggested that the storyline will take place a year after the events of the last season—duh, we know when “Home Sweet Home” came out—and focus on the main characters’ puberty pangs. That said, according to Reddit sleuths who’ve obsessed over such details as the nuances of the new season’s poster art, it looks like Max and company are going to have to contend with demon rats no doubt released from the Upside Down.

See below for the new season’s trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEG3bmU_WaI

Stranger Things 3 premieres globally on July 4.

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