REVIEW: The Big Sick [2017]

“Always with the comedy” A lot of romantic comedies release each year—a lot. And they’re generally all the same with characters built from stereotypes rather than a writer’s personal experience. The ones that stick out are therefore those that arrive from the heart with something true to say. They’re the few possessing the honesty to show love’s ebbs and flows as well as the reality that it won’t always prevail. Sometimes the journey of the central couple lies in their growth to move onto other things, their brief collision providing…

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REVIEW: Trainwreck [2015]

“Monogamy isn’t realistic” Here I thought I could blame the editor for why Judd Apatow‘s films have been lackluster and overlong since The 40-Year-Old Virgin only to discover his latest Trainwreck is the first of his theatrical quintet not in part handled by Brent White. Instead we have William Kerr, Peck Prior, and Paul Zucker: three people who either failed to explain that a scene shouldn’t remain in the final cut just because it’s funny or three people who ultimately were ignored and/or sequentially replaced by one another. Don’t get…

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REVIEW: American Storage [2006]

“I maintain it myself” It’s good to have friends in high places, but it’s better to have the chops to warrant their help. This is the life of Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, production assistants on Anchorman and The 40 Year Old Virgin respectively who used their relationship with Judd Apatow and his troupe of actors to film a short. Using all their money and a three-day shooting schedule, American Storage was born as a witty little comedy about a grown man so temperamental and anxious about the outside…

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REVIEW: Neighbors [2014]

“We should go Mom tipping later” After respectively writing and directing a short film that dealt with a manchild living in a storage unit who befriends one of the employees in hopes to stay, Brendan O’Brien and Andrew Jay Cohen have decided to go a bit less high concept with their feature screenwriting debut. But while the quirky setting may be gone, the theme of surviving the suburban boredom of adulthood is not. One could say Neighbors is an evolutionary reworking of American Storage‘s concepts as the duo polishes things…

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Posterized Propaganda October 2013: The Faces of ‘Gravity,’ ’12 Years a Slave,’ ‘The Counselor’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Not too many movies open up in October—and only one studio horror flick at that, despite Halloween. What’s the best way to sell tickets then? Star power. Celebrity faces are…

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REVIEW: This is the End [2013]

“Is the power of Christ compelling me? Is that what’s happening?” Way back in 2007 there was a YouTube trailer for a short film entitled Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse that whetted fans’ appetites only to never seen by the public. Time went on, nothing appeared to be happening—which wasn’t necessarily a horrible thing since the trailer wasn’t all that funny—and eventually word came down it was being retooled by the titular Seth Rogen and writing partner Evan Goldberg into their directorial debut This is the End. Now six…

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REVIEW: This is 40 [2012]

“I control the radio on my birthday” It’s time to accept that the words “Directed by Judd Apatow” are synonymous with “sentimental familial dramedy littered by profanity”. I probably should have come to this realization years ago, but for some reason I still held out hope he’d once more match the entertainment value of The 40 Year Old Virgin. Everyone loves Knocked Up, I know, but to me it was a slow bore with few of those indelible moments his debut etched in my mind. Funny People was an improvement—at…

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Posterized Propaganda December 2012: A Cinematic Library with ‘Django Unchained’, ‘The Hobbit,’ ‘Les Miserables’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Here we are at the end of 2012, ready for the release of the last few Oscar. It’s a time where story generally triumphs over mainstream appeal and where the…

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REVIEW: Here Comes the Boom [2012]

“I’m having a crazy month of meeting people” Let’s face it, I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed a straight Happy Madison production—I exclude Apatow‘s and Binder‘s because they would have probably been made with or without the shingle—since 2004’s 50 First Dates. In all actuality, looking at the list now makes me think it may be the only film I’ve given three stars to at all. And this is coming from a long-time Adam Sandler apologist. I’ve finally decided to wake from the drunken stupor Billy Madison‘s greatness put me under so…

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REVIEW: The Five-Year Engagement [2012]

“The Taxman waits for no one” Writer/actor Jason Segel and writer/director Nicholas Stoller have been working with each other for years now, both cementing their membership in Judd Apatow‘s comedic entourage on “Undeclared”. It was their first cinematic collaboration—Forgetting Sarah Marshall—however, that put them on the map as a creative team worth keeping in the recesses of your mind for light bulbs of clarity to illuminate when hearing their names in trailers. The film was a perfect mix of charm, hilarity, and crude behavior that was sadly unmatched with Stoller’s…

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REVIEW: Life as We Know It [2010]

“Don’t let any fat grown-ups in when the kids are inside” Long-time television producer Greg Berlanti’s first directorial wide release, Life as We Know It, had two strikes against it before I even popped in the DVD. To begin with, the film was a romantic comedy in the vein of countless others—two people who hate each other are brought together by circumstances out of their control and slowly fall in love. And while the premise here is equal parts horrible in the fact someone thought it would be a good…

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