Seth Rogen Has Michael Cera Disease

by Mindy Monez April 9, 2009 3:51 pm
Seth Rogen Has Michael Cera Disease Mall cop movies: there's one for everybody these days for some reason. There were no mall cop movies in the history of movies before last year (there were security guard movies, but that's not the same. Security guards work at banks so they can rob them. Mall cops work at malls so they can not work all day and get paid to eat hot dogs on sticks) and now all of a sudden there are going to be 50 Paul Blarts, and Observe and Report is opening Friday. But a trend is a trend, and while I admire Seth Rogen for recognizing one and hopping right onto that caboose, he's still playing the exact same character he always plays. Like most people on the internet, I think Observe and Report will probably be pretty good, actually (I love a good mob mentality!), but still -- let's go over this guy's resume. Read closely, and you may notice a pattern: It's like Ferrell-level same guy every timeness. It's like Michael Cera-level same guy every timeness. It's like Tommy Chong-level same guy every timeness. Cal-bong, take me away!

The Guilt Trip‘s Guiltiest Pleasures

by Ethan Alter December 19, 2012 6:00 am
<i>The Guilt Trip</i>‘s Guiltiest Pleasures

Let's make this clear right from the jump: The Guilt Trip is not a good movie, at least not in the "Oh my god, what did I just see -- I want to see it again right now" sense of the term. But it's perfectly passable in the "Hey, it's better than surgery!" spirit of holiday filmgoing. (For an example of a movie where surgery would be the preferable option, see -- or better yet, don't -- Billy Crystal in Parental Guidance.) Directed by Anne Fletcher, who specializes in entirely disposable, but not completely unenjoyable schlock like 27 Dresses and The Proposal, The Guilt Trip is a mother/son road comedy starring Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen as a matriarch and child, respectively, that meanders merrily along for 95 pain-free (and, honestly, mostly laugh-free) minutes before arriving at its entirely predictable destination. En route, however, the film makes a few detours and pit stops that actually qualify as entertainment. Here are the guiltiest pleasures of The Guilt Trip:

The Indie Spirit Awards vs. The Oscars

by Ethan Alter February 27, 2012 2:19 pm
The Indie Spirit Awards vs. The Oscars

In all the hubbub over the Oscars, you might have forgotten that another awards show happened over the weekend, the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards, which were handed out Saturday, 24 hours before the big Academy shindig. While initially created to celebrate the best and brightest in indie film, in recent years the list of Indie Spirit nominees and winners has come to bear a striking resemblance to the Oscars. That was particularly true this year, when The Artist won for Best Film, Best Director and Best Male Lead... the same categories it triumphed in at the Oscars the following evening. Which begs the question: at this point, is there any difference between the Indie Spirit Awards and the Academy Awards? Let's compare the two ceremonies in a few key areas.

Zach and Mimi Make an (R-rated) Porno

by Odie Henderson August 6, 2008 9:46 am
Zach and Mimi Make an (R-rated) Porno Since its inception in 1990, the MPAA has slapped the NC-17 on several undeserving movies. It has also withheld said application on more deserving films, either due to public fear or corporate pressure. Both cases yield ridiculous results. For example, Martin Lawrence's comedy concert film, You So Crazy, is rated NC-17, yet Mel Gibson's The Passion is rated R. One film spends 90 minutes talking about crap, Prince and getting a piece, the other spends over two hours beating the crap out of the Prince of Peace. Actions speak louder than words, and should be rated as such. If I go on a date, and we spend the evening talking, that's R (for profanity and sex-related begging). If I'm invited upstairs "for coffee" at the end of the date, that's NC-17 (for graphic sexu--oh, who am I kidding--for brief sexuality and extreme charity). Kevin Smith probably used a similar example when the MPAA rated his actionless film Clerks NC-17. He had more 'splainin' to do than Lucy Ricardo, however, when they slapped the dreaded rating on his latest, Zach and Mimi Make A Porno.

Hurrying Out The Hornet's Nest

by Tippi Blevins June 24, 2008 11:09 am
Hurrying Out The Hornet's Nest A lot can happen in two years. By summer 2010, the U.S. will be about eighteen months into a new presidential term. Sixty generations of overcrowded laboratory fruit flies will have come and gone. An elephant who gets knocked up today will be taking her baby on its first migration. Two years is a long time, in other words, but Sony Pictures is planning way ahead by revealing its Green Hornet website, complete with a brand new, shiny green logo. (Hilariously, the new website reminds us that "This film is not yet rated." No! Really? "This film is not yet in existence," is more like it.) Why now? Why so early? Maybe Sony doesn't realize it could shoot itself in the foot with two solid years of pre-release hype. Maybe Sony is trying to get the movie-going public used to the idea of its unconventional action movie star. Or maybe an intern just had some free time on his hands and wanted to play around with Photoshop.

<i>This is the End</i>: Seeking Six Friends For the End of the World

It's not a spoiler to say that the world really is ending in the all-star comedy This is the End. This isn't an artificial apocalypse or a meta mega-disaster designed to complement the movie's already-heightened level of reality that comes with its cast -- including Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride -- playing themselves (albeit slightly tweaked versions of themselves) rather than fictional characters. The film, which Rogen wrote and directed his longtime creative partner Evan Goldberg, takes the end of days seriously... so seriously that the level of violence (to say nothing of the body count) is higher than you might expect for a warm weather comedy. Fortunately, much of what's unfolding in the shadow of the apocalypse is also seriously funny, so even though the world as we know it is over, it's ending with laughter rather than a whimper.

Indie Snapshot: Take This Waltz

by Ethan Alter July 13, 2012 6:00 am
Indie Snapshot: <i>Take This Waltz</i>

A slow weekend at the multiplex gives you time to catch up with some of the indie features -- like Sarah Polley's Take This Waltz -- currently playing at an art house or video on demand service near you.

50/50: Life As He Knew It

by Ethan Alter September 30, 2011 6:00 am
<i>50/50</i>: Life As He Knew It

Back in the early '00s, Will Reiser was a twentysomething associate producer on the much buzzed-about HBO series Da Ali G Show, where he met and befriended then-newcomers Seth Rogen and his writing partner, Evan Goldberg. It was the beginning of one of those classic "rise up the Hollywood food chain" stories, until Reiser's momentum was derailed by an unexpected cancer diagnosis. To complicate matters further, the affected tumor was located on his spine and the risky surgical procedure that was required to remove it would be followed by a lengthy (and painful) recovery period. Reiser went through the diagnosis, the surgery and the recovery and now he's turned his cancer story into a semi-autobiographical feature film, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing his onscreen alter ego and Rogen as a character that's a thinly-veiled version of... Seth Rogen.

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