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Movie Review: Funny People
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Cinema Junkie   |  
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Funny People
Directed by Judd Apatow
Starring Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill
Rated R
Release Date: July 31, 2009

“The whole place seemed to have been stricken with a kind of creeping paralysis – out of beat with the rest of the world, crumbling apart in slow motion.”
— Joe Gillis from Sunset Blvd.

“I don’t know if there is anything wrong because I don’t know how other people are.”
— Barry Egan from Punch-Drunk Love

“You’re my best friend, and I don’t even like you.”
— George Simmons from Funny People

Funny People: Bringing The Nasty Pain

Los Angeles, the bitch of desire, takes no prisoners. Hollywood may be her enchanted vagina, but the rest of her is a ferocious dominatrix ready to force everyone to fall under her demented spell. It is a city with an infinite supply of Sammy Glick’s ready to pleasure the bitch at whatever cost.

Judd Apatow’s third film, Funny People, is a departure for him; it is supposed to show him as a more mature filmmaker. It certainly has many of the raunchy elements that made The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up so memorable. Judd Apatow is trying to move beyond the myth of adulthood in this film. Adulthood seems to be the Holy Grail that his characters can never quite find in his films or even the films of Wes Anderson. Adulthood is out of reach for the so-called adults as well as the younger generations who are stuck in eternal adolescent purgatory. Funny People certainly fits this vital characteristic of what makes a Judd Apatow film, but he has gone further with this film in that he deals with the show business angle — the world of stand-up comedians.

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Watch Now: New Red Band Trailer For Judd Apatow’s ‘Funny People’
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Funny People

Universal Pictures has released a new red band trailer for Funny People, the new movie from comedy king Judd Apatow that stars Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen.

Apatow himself refers to the movie as a serious one that he has attempted to make even funnier than his not-so-serious comedies. It tells the tale of George Simmons (fittingly played by Sandler), a stand-up comedian who has moved on to super stardom via mainstream family movies. One day the star discovers that he has a rare disease and will likely die. In his last days, he realizes he doesn’t have much and befriends a young and up-and-coming comedian who helps him write jokes.

The movie carries a great supporting cast as well, including: Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman, and others. Funny People will be released on July 31, 2009.

Click on over to the other side to check out the new trailer. As always, this is a RED BAND trailer and is NSFW.

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Movie Review: Year One
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The Rub   |  
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Year One
Directed by Harold Ramis
Starring Jack Black, Michael Cera
Rated PG-13
Release date: June 19, 2009

There are a lot of stock catchphrases that are widely used by people to describe movies that I have grown tired of hearing. Reading a review of a film that is described as a “rollercoaster thrill ride” or a performance is hailed as being a “tour de force” stinks of laziness and unoriginality by the critic. Specifically there are two descriptions that apply to Year One that I am deathly sick of hearing across the board: “Check your brain at the door” and “the actors looked like they had fun making the movie.”

A movie like Year One wasn’t made to be dissected into deeper meaning. Zed (Jack Black) and Oh (Michael Cera) are hunter-gatherers who are kicked out of their village for being worthless and forced into the world on their own. They have a variety of encounters that are loosely based on stories from the Bible. Dumb cavemen weaving in and out of biblical stories. That’s pretty much it. I’d like to be able to go into detail but the movie simply doesn’t provide that opportunity.

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Video: Super Bowl Madness: Watch The Biggest Movie TV Spots Now!
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Transformers 2It’s usually the biggest TV day of the year: Super Bowl Sunday. If you’re a sports fan, you’re excited about the game, and if you hate sports, you still watch to see the legendary commercial lineup in hopes of seeing some marketing brilliance.

Among all of these commercials each year, we also get some peeks at the year’s biggest upcoming movies and this year is no slouch. In fact, this may just be the BIGGEST Super Bowl for movie previews that we’ve ever seen.

Personally, I’m a huge sports fan, so I’m usually watching the big game… but this year is a pretty boring match-up, so it’s fitting that the telecast will be riddled with huge movie peeks.

We’ve already posted the one for the new Star Trek preview, but here you can see the Super Bowl spots for massive summer fare such as: Disney’s Up!, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, The Year One, Race to Witch Mountain, Land of the Lost, and yes, oh yes… Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Venture to the other side for all of the TV spot video goodness!

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One More Epic 2009 Movie Preview!
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Wild ThingsNot too long ago, we shared a preview of what to look for in 2009 (see A Taste Of What The ’09 Movie Slate Has In Store). Although we are now a good little chunk into the big 2009, that doesn’t mean that it’s too late for more preview goodness, so when the opportunity presented itself we couldn’t help but do it again. Now the LA Times has their own collection of 2009 preview images, so naturally, we’ve found the newer and more exciting ones to share with you.

Because we used it in the first preview, I’ve included the brand new Where the Wild Things Are image as our main image, so be sure to check that one out as well!

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Say No More: ‘Monty Python’ Comes To iTunes
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Monty Python fans rejoice!

iTunes has launched the Monty Python iTunes Store [link launches iTunes application], which has five of the comedy troupe’s films — including Monty Python and the Holy Grail — as well as all 45 episodes of their comedy sketch show Monty Python’s Flying Circus, available for purchase.

Along with Holy Grail are other classics film Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life and Monty Python’s Life of Brian, plus their 1982 live performance Monty Python: Live At The Hollywood Bowl as well as Terry Gilliam’s medieval satire Jabberwocky.

The Flying Circus television series is available in several variations: by episode, by season (Series 1-4), by “Personal Best” from each cast member (Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, John Cleese, Michael Palin), or by the best of compilation Parrot Sketch Not Included: 20 Years of Monty Python; there’s also two pre-Python collections: Do Not Adjust Your Set, and At Last The 1948 Show.

Also available as a free download exclusively through iTunes is the Why I Love Monty Python, a short documentary featuring interviews with today’s top American comedy creators like Judd Apatow, Paul Rudd, as well as South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, about their love of Python and how the British sketch comedy show influenced their lives and creations.

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DVD Review: Knocked Up (Blu-ray)
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WordSlinger   |  
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Knocked Up Blu-ray DVDKnocked Up
Blu-Ray Unrated Edition
Directed by Judd Apatow
Starring Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Pall Rudd, Leslie Mann
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: September 30, 2008

Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) is living the easy responsibility-free life. A court settlement gave him enough money to sit around and get stoned with his housemate for a few years. In contrast, Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) is an up and coming entertainment reporter working at E! These seemingly polar opposites both go out for a night of fun and end up hooking up for what it seems both intended to be a one-night stand. Too bad Ben didn’t use protection. Alison is pregnant, she’s keeping the baby, and the two decide to see if they are compatible enough try an actual relationship.

Rogen is a funny guy, but I think his Frat Pack cohorts may have put him on center stage too early. Despite its own charms, Knocked Up is not as good as some of the other FP movies out there. It fails to comment on the responsibilities of parenthood in the subtle ways the other films poke fun at social norms, but there is still plenty to find funny. I know I may be in the minority with that opinion, but to me, Knocked Up does not have the same rewatch value as other movies with this group.

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New ‘Fanboys’ Poster
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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FanboysCinematical has premiered a new poster for the forever-in-limbo comedy Fanboys. Check it out out at right and click for large view.

This latest poster is a take-off of the Judd Apatow comedy The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which is a very different marketing angle than the original Return of the Jedi-inspired one-sheet (see it here).

I think we’re at the point now where it’s safe to say that The Weinstein Company truly does not know what to do with this movie.

“Recently, studio head Harvey Weinstein told the LA Times that Fanboys has been moved to January 2009 so that it can be involved in a major promotion and large advertising tie-in with Comcast. This was a film that was supposed to be released early 2007, then got moved to August 2007, then was held in limbo after reports surfaced that a major plot point was removed. So, if it will actually be released in January — typically a death warrant for most films, except Cloverfield — remains to be seen.

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DVD Review: The 40-Year-Old Virgin (Blu-ray)
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WordSlinger   |  
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The 40-Year-Old Virgin [Blu-ray]The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Blu-Ray Edition – Unrated
Directed by Judd Apatow
Starring Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Romany Malco
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: September 30, 2008

The 40-Year-Old Virgin is one of the best “Frat Pack” films out there. Steve Carell really stole the spotlight and showed he can be a leading man. The film also showcases one of Paul Rudd‘s best characters and gave us our first real look at Seth Rogen‘s comedic talents. Even with an enormous amount of low-brow humor, the film still manages to connect with real people facing real relationship issues. Despite the implication of the title, the film does not brand virginity as the worst complication in an adult relationship.

The film stars Carell as the title virgin, who works at a large electronics store and is basically a loner. He’s managed to keep this secret all these years, but when his co-workers (Rogen, Rudd, and several other hilarious supporting roles) find out he’s never been with a woman, they make it their mission to get him laid.

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DVD Review: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Blu-ray)
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Three-D   |  
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Forgetting Sarah MarshallForgetting Sarah Marshall
Blu-ray
Directed by Nicholas Stoller
Starring Jason Segel, Kirsten Bell, Mila Kunis, Bill Hader, Russell Brand
Universal Home Entertainment
Release date: September 30, 2008

We are now in the midst of a treacherous tidal wave of new cinema: the lewd, crude, and highly sexual cinema. It’s the kind that produces movies that really hone in on the sexual world that we are a part of today. With each film that comes along in this genre, it’s always the newest film pushing the envelope farther and farther from its predecessors. Just refer to 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Superbad. Now we can add Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a sexual breakup comedy, to this infamous list. All of these sexual comedies, especially the latter, make past movies of the same genre (American Pie) look like child’s play.

What’s so cool and special about these raunchy comedies are the fact that they’re made possible by the same group of people. This group of people all answer to writer-director-producer Judd Apatow. He has the knack of putting movies out to the public that involve his favorite people to work with. He gives the director here, Nicholas Stoller, his first crack at success. It shows he’s a virgin to directing when the film looses its mirth in the second act.

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