In the action-comedy The Interview, Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show “Skylark Tonight.” When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists. As Dave and Aaron prepare to travel to Pyongyang, their plans change when the CIA recruits them, perhaps the two least-qualified men imaginable, to assassinate Kim Jong-un. Continue reading
In the film, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play new parents happily settling into a comfortable new neighborhood. Then a rowdy frat (led by Zac Efron) moves in next door, and the tension between the two houses escalates into out-and-out war.
Typically, when the main character of a film is dying of cancer, you can’t expect a lot of laughs in the script. That’s not the case with 50/50, which combines comedy and drama in a way that emulates the natural ebb and flow of emotions in real life to create a film that is both touching and witty.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays 27-year-old Adam, an all-around good guy who eats right, exercises and still ends up getting cancer. After a rather cold greeting from his doctor, he is told that his particular type of cancer is very hard to treat and that he might not make it. His odds or survival are 50/50 and he has to cope with his impending mortality. Continue reading
Any movie written by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, starring Seth Rogen and Kristen Wiig and featuring a scene set at Comic Con is right up my alley, so naturally, I was very excited for Paul. The film is a hilarious mixture of E.T. and Pineapple Express with a little Shaun of the Dead throw in for extra flavor. Continue reading
When you think of a comic book hero, the first name that pops into your head probably isn’t Seth Rogen. In fact, many things about The Green Hornet aren’t exactly conventional. The script was penned by Rogen and pal Evan Goldberg, who also wrote Superbad, and directed by Michel Gondry of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind fame. This unconventional team is exactly what makes this film feel new and different from the Iron Man explosion fests of the world. Continue reading
Funny People is not exactly a comedy. It’s not really a drama or romance either. It’s a little combination of all those things and that’s what makes it feel so real. In a far more true-to-life plot than anything the writers of Entourage could ever dream of, Seth Rogen plays Ira Wright, a struggling comedian living in L.A. who befriends comedy superstar George Simmons, played by actual comedy superstar Adam Sandler. Continue reading
Rape, balls, and a small penis are used for comedic purposes in telling the story of security officer Ronnie (Seth Rogen) in the new movie, Observe and Report, which premiered on Monday at SXSW. Continue reading
Last year’s SXSW was simply an amazing inspiring pilgrimage to the hippie Mecca on the south side of America. On behalf of Trashwire.com, I am able to go to the 2009 festival, and this time experience helps a lot. Not only was the 2008 festival filled with tons of great films I did not get a chance to see, there were also so many panels, conversations, and many events going on simultaneously. Continue reading
After returning home from seeing Kevin Smith‘s new film, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, for the second time, I was a bit disappointed to see the relatively low rating for the film on Rotten Tomatoes. A 66% fresh rating? That’s only three points higher than Clerks II! Even Smith’s self-professed worst movie, Jersey Girl, has a 40% fresh rating. Did the people who gave those ratings watch the same comedy that I saw?
Zack and Miri seems to follow the recipe for a great comedy. It takes one part View Askew cynical humor, one part Seth Rogen, a sprinkle of familiar faces from the Judd Apatow universe, and a little bit of romantic comedy sweetness, all garnished with a dash of full-frontal Jason Mewes, to make something that achieves what Clerks II only wished it could.
Rogen and costar Elizabeth Banks play the title characters in this romcom about two financially-challenged childhood BFFs who set out to make a porn film to avoid getting evicted. Along the way, they gather a crew of good-hearted misfits to help them achieve their goal. Everything seems to be going according to plan when suddenly Zack and Miri realize they might harbor feelings for each other that go beyond friendship.
Those looking for an Orgazmo-like commentary on the porn universe should stick to Trey Parker because Zack and Miri has much more to do with making your first low-budget film than with having sex on camera. Even Smith acknowledged the autobiographical nature of the film saying that it was inspired by the process of making his first film, 1994’s Clerks.
The scene-stealing turns from Gerry Bednob of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and The Office‘s Craig Robinson are proof that casting is everything. Even real life porn queen Katie Morgan gives a humorous, though at times over-the-top, performance.
In one of the funniest scenes, Justin (“I’m a Mac”) Long plays gay porn star Brandon St. Randy, who appears at Zack and Miri’s high school reunion with his boyfriend Bobby Long, played by Superman himself, Brandon Routh. Unaware of her former crush’s sexual orientation, Miri shamelessly throws herself at Bobby in an effort to finally sleep with him. Of course, at the same time Zack is chatting it up with Brandon about being in porn and bursts Miri’s fantasy bubble in a hilarious moment in the middle of the reunion.
The film seems to be a refreshing turn from Smith’s wordy, dialogue-heavy previous works and a step towards the Apatow gang’s natural dialogue and improvisation that made comedies like Superbad or Forgetting Sarah Marshall so fantastic.
Other bloggers seem to agree with my opinion that this film is one of Smith’s best, particularly in recent years. I can only credit Rogen’s influence for bringing funny back to the View Askewniverse like some sort of comedy Justin Timberlake.
The great “Movie Stoner Duo Hall of Fame” includes Cheech and Chong, Jay and Silent Bob, Harold and Kumar, and now Dale and Saul, the main characters in the ridiculously funny Pineapple Expresss. The brilliant team from Superbad is back with a brand new stoner comedy that is weird, outrageous and bizarre, all while being incredibly funny.
Like Superbad‘s Seth and Evan, this time our dynamic duo is Process Server Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) and his big-hearted drug dealer Saul Silver (James Franco) who become wrapped up in a deadly drug war after accidentally witnessing a crime. The drug lord and his crooked cop accomplice, played by Gary Cole and Rosie Perez, send two thugs (Craig Robinson of The Office and Kevin Corrigan) to track down Saul and Dale. In the process of evading capture, Saul and Dale must deal with quirky middle man Red, played to almost unthinkable perfection by Danny McBride.
The performances from the cast showcase some of the best comedic acting to date. Franco and Rogen expertly play off each other and there’s no doubt that many of the funniest lines were probably born from improvisation. This lends the film the same realistic tone of dialogue that made writers Rogen and long-time friend Evan Goldberg so great in Superbad.
The most refreshing part of any Rogen/Goldberg movie is the focus on the relationship between the two main characters. Nobody can capture the real essence of best friends like these two! Where most comedies will drag on with some kind of love interest, their films tend to focus on the “bro-mance” of being someone’s BFF. That kind of writing is a rare treasure in a sea of dumbed-down Hollywood buddy comedies.
Now that they’ve written two spectacular films, the bar will be extra high for Rogen and Goldberg when they treat us to their version of The Green Hornet in 2010.
View the trailer here: