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UPDATED–Ed Helms joins the guest list!!! Live in Chicago? Capone has seats for a screening of CEDAR RAPIDS, with director Miguel Arteta Q&A!!!

Hey, Chicago folks. So, in addition to CEDAR RAPIDS director Miguel Arteta taking part in a post-screening Q&A, we've just confirmed that the film's wonderfully funny star Ed Helms will join us as well/


Now, full disclosure: When I was first offered the chance to give away CEDAR RAPIDS tickets to AICN readers, Helms was part of the package. But soon after the contest went live, I was told his travel schedule might be a bit crowded before his trip to Chicago (he and Arteta are doing press the day after the screening) and that he might not make it to town in time for the Q&A. I enjoyed the movie enough that I thought just having Arteta as a guest was a good enough reason to be a part of this event. Helms was never officially off the table as a guest, but I knew there was a chance he wouldn't be there. But now he is, and we couldn't be happier. There's a lot talk to both men about, and so we shall


I'm keeping the contest open overnight, and then going through the contest entries Friday morning. So keep the entries coming in, and best of luck to everyone. Here's the original contest…



Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.

Snow is everywhere in Chicago right now, and we're only halfway through the Snowpacalypse, Beyond Thundersnow, SnOMG. I can't even look out my windows at how bad things are because my windows are caked in snow. They're predicting 8-foot drifts when all is said and done. Lake Shore Drive is closed, the streets are empty of cars and pedestrians. The world around here is a bleak place today, but I have something that will brighten the lives of those in and around Chicago that will hopefully bring people back out of their homes and into a fine comedy, complete with a Q&A.

I'm pleased to be present an early, fresh-from-Sundance screening of CEDAR RAPAIDS, starring Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Stephen Root, Sigourney Weaver, and the unstoppable Isiah Whitlock Jr. I've got 100 reserved seats to give to AICN readers.

And as an added bonus, the film's director Miguel Arteta will be on hand for a post-screening Q&A. Arteta's previous film work includes the incredible indie dark comedies STAR MAPS, CHUCK & BUCK, and THE GOOD GIRL. About a year ago, his most recent film, YOUTH IN REVOLT, was released. And he's also helmed great episodes of "The Office," "Six Feet Under," and "Freak and Geeks."

The screening will take place Tuesday, February 8 at 7:00pm at a theater in downtown Chicago (the exact location will only be given to the winners). I've seen the film already, and it's such a perfect vehicle for Helms, in his first starring role. Here's how to win:

Send me an email at (please note the new email address) with the subject line "BROWNSTAR INSURANCE". In the body of the email, I need your Name, whether or not you're bringing a Guest (guests' names are not required), and the answer to the following question (read carefully): "If you were an insurance salesperson from Wisconsin, what would your name be, first and last?" If you look at the names of the characters in CEDAR RAPIDS, you'll see that most of them have great names: Tim Lippe, Dean Ziegler, Joan Ostrowski-Fox. So I'm looking for great, cheesy names. Your own name, no matter how cheesy, will not count. Keep your responses BRIEF--if you decide to explain your answer, limit it to 75 words or less (no matter how tempted you are to go over the limit). People with the most interesting answers win, and will hear from me over the weekend.

Please keep in mind that, although winners' seats will be reserved, this is not an exclusive AICN event and is overbooked to make sure there is a full house for our guest. Seats will only be held until 15 minutes before showtime. If there's even the slightest chance you or your guest will have to back out of attending if you do win, don't enter. If you have a job that might make you late or unable to attend, or an ill/pregnant relative, or a temperamental significant other, or a scratchy throat, do not enter. Anyone not showing up without informing me 24 hours ahead of time so I can fill their seats runs the risk of being no longer eligible for future screening contests.

Good luck, everyone! And thanks to Fox Searchlight Pictures for making this happen and bringing in Miguel Arteta for the Q&A.

-- Capone
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Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 2, 2011, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Generic comment other than "first"!

    by Citizin_insane

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 9:01 a.m. CST

    De masiado frio!

    by duct tape wallet


  • Feb. 2, 2011, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Why, yes, I do live in Chicago. And today is a snow day.

    by SnootyBoots

    It's the snowpocalypse outside! Normally I wouldn't be on this site at this time of day. I'd be at work working. I don't think I've ever missed a day of work due to weather. But this town is shut down. Yes, I believe I was in Junior High School the last time I had a snow day. Which was quite some time ago.

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Chicago snow day

    by Dollar Bird

    The amount of snow (and the drifts) is amazing. Beautiful and astounding. I do not relish the prospect of digging my car out later tonight, though.

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 4:41 p.m. CST


    by WriteForTheEdit

    That's pretty funny! I like it...

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 4:48 p.m. CST


    by WriteForTheEdit

    I love hyperbolic weather reporting...

  • Feb. 3, 2011, 11:58 p.m. CST


    by vadakinX

    Variety is reporting that three actresses have been shortlisted for the female lead in Snyder's Superman - but it isn't Lois Lane. The article also mentions that they are still looking for a villain so the female lead definitely isn't the villain of the film. Now, I said no Lois Lane...not strictly true. The article says she's being downplayed in this film. Article can be found here:

  • Feb. 4, 2011, 12:12 a.m. CST

    Cedar Rapids looks interesting

    by SpaceWaffle

    I used to work with child-like mid-westerners on a regular basis.

  • Feb. 4, 2011, 12:38 a.m. CST

    And now Ryan is stalking me

    by SpaceWaffle

    I must have hit a nerve. Remind me to buy more anti-aspie spray.

  • Feb. 4, 2011, 12:58 a.m. CST

    Super Awesome!!

    by MapMan

    I really miss Ed Helms being on the Daily Show. Along with Rob Corddry, Nate Corddry, Rob Riggle and Demetri Martin and even Steve Carrell (who I think was the weakest of this bunch frankly). I don't really care for John Oliver, Sam Bee and Jason Jones. I don't see big movie careers for them. Sorry, what were we talking about again? Oh yes Cedar Rapids - SUPER AWESOME!