REVIEW: American Ultra [2015]

“We fired the ugly one” When there are only seven basic plots—as the saying goes—to implicitly choose from as a screenwriter, genre-bending homage becomes the sole path towards creativity. So while Max Landis‘ script for American Ultra is The Bourne Identity meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith through a Pineapple Express filter, it’s a damn good ride regardless. He’s throwing common tropes on their head by making a government-trained agent into a paranoid stoner filled to the brim with anxiety. He’s creating laughs out of dramatic convention while director Nima Nourizadeh…

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INTERVIEW: David Gordon Green, director of Manglehorn

In the six years between Snow Angels and Prince Avalanche, writer/director David Gordon Green became a collaborator on a string of comedies of which he was not credited as a writer. In the two years since he’s utilized that process with drama Joe and now Manglehorn. He’s said in other interviews that it’s a way for him to have multiple projects going at once, passing ideas onto others to see what develops into something he wishes to pursue and what doesn’t. And as he tells us below, it also allows…

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TIFF13 REVIEW: Joe [2014]

“Tell me something. You like funny faces?” Welcome back David Gordon Green. While it’s easy for me to say such a statement because I know his pedigree on paper, truth be told I’ve only ever seen one film of his before he dove into Hollywood comedies. It was his last before that period of his oeuvre began—Snow Angels—and it was a glorious drama with top-notch performances and weighty drama. I won’t lie and say I didn’t love Pineapple Express because it is a great flick. Your Highness and The Sitter…

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REVIEW: Your Highness [2011]

“I want you to be gay with me and father” I knew Your Highness was going to be bad, but I never anticipated just how much. I thought that no matter how horrible the trailers were, Danny McBride and James Franco re-teaming would make things tolerable. They helped support Seth Rogen’s stoner action flick, Pineapple Express, Franco’s complete absurdity and McBride’s acquired taste enhancing the writer’s formula we have come to love. While Rogen and partner Evan Goldberg have discovered mainstream appeal, though, McBride and co-scribe Ben Best are still…

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REVIEW: The Green Hornet [2011]

“Don’t thank him. He did nothing.” Don’t be surprised when you find that the new incarnation of The Green Hornet has taken a very different path from its predecessors. The trailer should address this issue, but the simple fact Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are the duo tackling the escapades of George W. Trendle’s characters will if not. The two had great success with their semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale of high school angst in Superbad and took a well-orchestrated shot at making action funny with Pineapple Express. It’s not hard to…

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REVIEW: Date Night [2010]

“And you brought your androgynous friend” It is amazing what a month can do to change one’s tastes. I’m a fan of Steve Carell, have been since his days on “The Daily Show”, but recently couldn’t get past how much I hated his role in “The Office”, not to mention having wrote off the show last season. And then there’s Tina Fey, a comedienne that I respect and thought did a wonderful job with Mean Girls, but whom I really had no opinion of—I stopped watching “SNL” when Farley died.…

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REVIEW: Role Models [2008]

“Taste the beast” I need to look into the plethora of comedies coming down the pipe for who wrote and directed them. I watched the trailer for Role Models and thought it looked funny enough. But it was Seann William Scott—don’t get me wrong, he’s pretty good, I just didn’t have it high on my list, even though my boy Paul Rudd co-starred. So, here I was, months later and finally ready to take a peek, and the starting credits just made me excited for what was to follow. I…

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Top Ten Films of 2008: The Year of World War II

This list is accurate as of post-date. So many films and not enough time to see them all, the potential for future change is inevitable, but as of today here are the best … I don’t know what precipitated 2008 being the year of the World War II movie, but of the 100+ releases I saw, six of them concerned it in some regard. The year saw more than its share of war from all decades with Che, Stop-Loss, Waltz with Bashir, and even Tropic Thunder, however, the Holocaust spent…

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REVIEW: Pineapple Express [2008]

“You’ve been served” The Apatow machine churns out another one. I don’t think Pineapple Express could fail even if it tried because the pairing of Seth Rogen and marijuana seems to be a match made in heaven. Billed as an action stoner comedy, Rogen and writing partner Evan Goldberg have crafted a tale around the titular strain of weed that allows for drug-induced confusion and paranoia due to the fact our two heroes are being hunted down by hitmen. Shortly after Dale Denton (Rogen) sees a murder by a drug…

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REVIEW: Snow Angels [2008]

“There are good people” Finally I have seen a David Gordon Green film. After all the praise I’ve heard based on his previous efforts, it almost came to the point where my first experience might have been his forthcoming Seth Rogen stoner comedy Pineapple Express rather than the indie dramas he is acclaimed for. Luckily Buffalo was able to secure his latest work, Snow Angels, for limited release so that I could see him in his element. This film is quite fantastic; a character study of a small town and…

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REVIEW: Superbad [2007]

“Yeah, I learned about that in health class” The title says it all. This movie is superbad…ass. You know, in as far as movie standards go, Superbad is not a masterpiece, or even something to speak about with more than a chuckle. With that said, though, I had a great time with this flick. It is tough to be a hard-R without any nudity for a film of its kind these days. The shear abundance of cursing and innuendo make you feel dirty enough. How writers Seth Rogen and Evan…

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