Judd Apatow

December 30, 2014

The Interview (2014)

WAR

The Interview –War

There is something to be said about a film that pretty much destroys the trust and security of a movie studio, single-handedly starts a cyber war, and draws the ire of all social media outlets where everyone is suddenly a film critic and each have the best review, “well, it sucks because it sucks.” I’ve always been a huge fan of those types of reviews. “The Interview” is that film and is by far the most polarizing “thing” to happen this year, besides maybe Kim Kardashian’s “Paper Chase.” Who’d of thought that a stoner comedy, at heart, would cause mass hysteria the likes that haven’t been seen since, well, ever.

Out story begins with Dave Skylark and Aaron Rapoport, James Franco and Seth Rogen respectively, who host and produce “Skylark Tonight” a celebrity-trash interview show. After 1,000 episodes, Aaron is looking for something a little more meaningful in his journalistic career. As luck would have it, North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un is a huge fan of Skylark’s show, as well as “The Big Bang Theory.” Feeling that this could be their big break to be taken serious, the duo setup an interview to take place in Pyongyang where Skylark will interview Jong-un. Upon catching wind of their impending interview, the CIA gets wind and wants in on the action, namely seizing the chance to kill the North Korean despot. Dave and Aaron travel to North Korea, and needless to say, hijinks ensue that include dick and fart jokes, while tossing in stereotypical stoner humor with a dash of “wink-wink-nod-nod” movie reference references.

The simple take away from “The Interview” is this; if you like “Pineapple Express” “This is the End” “Neighbors” or anything else that is within the Judd Apatow inner circle, you will enjoy “The Interview,” it’s that simple. Will this film get ripper apart by critics and the Internet? Of course it will. One, mainly because critics who sit in their ivory tower find it incredibly difficult to understand why a film like this would be a political touchstone. I mean, for a little bit there, it seemed like World War III was imminent. Critics hate when something takes over the consciousness of a people when it clearly shouldn’t. Add in the pile on of Internet trolls who say the movie sucks, because well, the movie sucks to them, and you have the bait set for a film to become something that runs in a 24 hour news cycle days on end. Guess what people, you just got trolled by Franco and Rogen. If you didn’t think this is the response they wanted, well, you need to get your head examined.

Sure, the film has plot holes, underwritten characters, is about 25-30 minutes too long, and has large gaps of just uselessness, but would you expect anything less? With that being said, I was never bored, I laughed throughout much of the film, and you can’t deny the fact that Franco and Rogen like making films together and see film as fun and not just something that needs to be respected and cherished, and worst of all, a landmark event. Christ, the film is about two bumblers trying to save the world from a 3rd-world dictator, is there anything more ridiculous than that?

So, is “The Interview” worth the hype? Not at all, its a typical comedy in the Apatow vein that most people should be very familiar with. Is it a bad movie and does it “suck?” Of course not, it’s very funny, absurd, and has plenty of quotable lines. Unfortunately, the film will be better remembered for the “war” it started, which when I think about it, maybe isn’t such a bad thing after all.

Fun Fact:There is nothing fun about North Korea…..

June 24, 2013

This is the End

FRIENDS

This is the End – Friends

Modern comedy falls into three groupings; buddy comedies (The Internship) re-hash comedies (any of The Hangover films) and comedy that came from the penis of Judd Apatow.  If it wasn’t for Apatow you could say that comedy would be dead.  Coming from a generation that thought “The Cable Guy” was one of the best comedies of the 1990s, that pretty much sums it up.  But what happens when you get a film that doesn’t have any of Apatow’s fingerprints on it, yet, remains at heart, an Apatow film?  You get the Rapture-inspired comedy, “This is the End.”  A film about friends, redemption, and a lot of jokes about cum.

Let me put this on front street;  “End” will not be for everyone, but it should be if you’ve seen any Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, or Danny McBride film, which I guess would mean that THIS film IS for EVERYONE!  Sure the humor is sophomoric, gross, and the conversations between the actors runs from inane, homoerotic, to, at times, philosophical, but what would you expect from the same guys that brought you “Superbad” and “Pineapple Express.”

“End” revolves around a party at James Franco’s new house where he’s invited everyone from Kevin Hart to a coked-up Michael Cera (who steals every scene he is in). Between the cocaine lines, bong hits, and Capri Suns, The Rapture begins, sucking people into heaven in blue light, while sinners remain on earth.  A majority of the cast dies, but a small group, including Rogen, Hill, McBride, Franco, Craig Robinson, and Jay Baruchel,  survive and slowly turn on each other while trying to figure what to do in the now-post Ap

If you’re looking for a plot and/or story, you’re looking for the wrong thing.  “End” is clearly a comedy showcase from Rogan to Robinson.  Each actor gets their chance to shine and it’s hilarious the watch even if you kind of know where the story is heading come the climax (that sentence is full of innuendo, but so is this film).  There will be some people in the audience that might feel divided about the humor, that ranges from potty-talk, to mean-spirited, but remember; it’s comedy anyway you slice it, and unless you are simply someone with no sense of humor, you’ll get a chuckle every few minutes.

What sets “End” apart from other Apatow fare, as well as any other comedy that’s been in the multiplex lately is the film’s take on celebrity.  “End” plays out more like a reality TV show, which might make you wonder; are these actors really like this in real life?  The answer is; maybe, maybe not.  Most of use are used to the characters that Seth Rogan, James, Franco, and Jonah Hill play in their movies; man-boys that smoke pot, have menial jobs, yet somehow end up for the better come the end of their films.  “End” takes this idea and puts it in some semblance of reality, yet all the actors are still playing a caricature of themselves from their films.  It’s an interesting way to view the film when you think about whether these guys have slowly taken up a role in “real” life that they are known for from their films.  It’s meta upon meta upon meta……

If you don’t want to get that deep, that’s fine, “End” is still the funniest movie that you’ll see all year without a doubt, and that should be enough to get you’re money.  However if that’s not enough…..spoiler alert……the Backstreet Boys are in it.  Now if that doesn’t make you want to pony up about 10 duckets, well, I’m sure you can still check out “The Hangover: Part III” at the dollar theater.

Fun Fact:  Over the course of their careers, The Backstreet Boys have sold over 130 Million records.  Suck on that N’Sync!

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