Seth Rogen

Superbad

Year: 2007
Directed By: Greg Mottola
Written By: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is a really funny movie and I enjoy it every time I sit down to it. This recounting of the good old days for Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg is hilarious. We all have those memories from our youth that have formed into legend and hats off to these guys for making a movie out of theirs.

This is just a great group of funny people brought together to be funny. I think the pairing of Jonah Hill and Michael Cera is great and they have terrific chemistry together. Rogen and Bill Hader are hilarious as the two cops. Last but not least is Christopher Mintz-Plasse making his film debut. I don’t think there are tons of roles out there waiting for this guy but he was awesome as McLovin. This is also Emma Stone’s film debut and how high her star has risen since. There are plenty of great performances in the background of this movie as well.

I’ve watched this movie a dozen times or more and I still find it funny. However I have little to nothing to say about it. Not inspiring lengthy commentary aside this movie is still worth your time. It’s a very funny movie and I don’t usually recommend it because everybody I know has usually already seen it. It’s immature and over the top but it’s a lot of fun.

NEXT MOVIE: Superman (1978)

 

 

Pineapple Express

Year: 2008
Directed By: David Gordon Green
Written By: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Judd Apatow

RYAN’S REVIEW

I gotta be honest. This movie gets lost on me more and more the older I get. It’s occurred to us far too many times throughout this journey through the blog that we own too many movies of this kind. In fact we own so many pothead movies I have half a mind to start a new category and call it “college years” or something along those lines. This many in the collection gives the wrong impression of who we are. I’m a firm believer that a person’s movie collection says something about the person in general. Movies like this certainly say the wrong thing about us, but they are what they are and they are all here for a reason. If serving no other purpose than reminding us of the good ol days these movies all have their place in our collection.

I think this movie is really funny although a bit too much like an accidental sequel to Superbad. This group of guys has an ever growing reputation in the movie industry and it’s fun to see them doing their thing. I do feel like it should have stopped with this movie though. Enough is enough guys, you are better than reliving this pipe dream over and over again. I think this is a funny movie and I love it, but when it has come to the collaborations of James Franco and Seth Rogen since I am more and more not into it. I thought This is the End was cool, but it was a bit too much at the same time.  Things got so crazy with The Interview but I remember long before there was a controversy thinking: “again? come on guys.” I have yet to see The Interview, but I will because I think every American should see it just to spite the North Korean leader. I’m sure when I see it I will laugh but I think both of these guys are too good to waste their talent being silly in the same dynamic as before.

I love all the guys that are in this movie. In fact when This is the End was coming out I remember being so excited and thinking that it was a genius idea. It seemed like there was no way it wouldn’t be the funniest thing I had ever seen until I saw practically the same thing done by Simon Pegg and company in The World’s End and it was hands down funnier. What Simon Pegg did was not just funnier but a lot better than the movie these guys made about getting hammered as the world came to a close around them. That was a disappointment to me personally because I think these guys are better than that, as great as Pegg and his posse are, I expected more than simple pot head circle ideas from these guys.

I referred to this as an accidental sequel to Superbad but that’s not really true. It only feels that way to me because these movies came out so close to one another and were made by Judd Apatow, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen. Like Superbad this movie too is a story of two friends with a third odd ball tie in friend. They both feature the same type of comedy and Seth Rogen in a significant roll. There are also several other correlating actors in both films.  They are very different stories but I’ll never shake the feeling of continuity between these two movies.

I think Danny McBride is a really funny guy. He has a weird sense of humor and it’s not always for me but I like it more often than not. I specifically like his part in this movie and I think he is hilarious as the best/worst friend a guy could possibly have. His fight with Rogen and Franco is epic and awesome. He has the strangest demeanor about him and he can be so funny when he gets into character. Everybody brings something funny to this movie but Danny McBride stands out among the rest.

Craig Robinson and Kevin Corrigan have great chemistry as the two hit men just going about their jobs. Their parts seem similar to the parts played by Bill Hader and Seth Rogen in Superbad. Hader incidentally has a great cameo at the beginning of this film. Also playing a small role is a pre-Hangover Ken Jeong. I’m a big fan of Jeong, he plays a really small part in this movie and he doesn’t partake in any of the comedy, but I like seeing him in this all the same. He has done much better for himself in the years that followed this movie.

This is a silly movie and if you are still in the age range to enjoy it then this is certainly the movie for you. There are plenty of movies like this that really take me back but this one doesn’t really get me like that as the others do. This movie came out as that window in life was closing and the eye of responsibility had already squarely fixed its gaze on me. I was still young enough to really appreciate this one then but today I find myself identifying with Ed Begley Jr. more than anybody else. That is a scary realization in itself. I think this movie is worth your time but watch at your own discretion. Depending on your age and stance in life this movie can be perceived in a variety of ways ranging from really funny to really stupid.

NEXT MOVIE: Pitch Black (2000)

Paul

Year: 2011
Directed By: Greg Motolla
Written By: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost

RYAN’S REVIEW

I don’t think I had even seen this movie when I bought it on the spot to add to our collection. Did I really need to see it to feel secure in the purchase? I am under the impression that if Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are going to collaborate on something that it will automatically be awesome and it belongs in our collection. I am happy to say that impression didn’t end with this film and I don’t expect it to change with anything these two do together in the future. This movie is a classic example of what happens when a group of funny people get together to do what they do best. This movie is fun and funny; I enjoy it every time I see it.

I first fell in love with these guys when I saw Shaun of the Dead for the third time. I consider it one of my favorite comedies of all time and I never tire of seeing it. It’s a movie I have found to get better with each viewing, the greats are always like that. I liked Hot Fuzz an awful lot too but felt it suffered in comparison. I have never been really interested in British comedy; choosing always to harness a true American mentality when it comes to film and entertainment. We are the greatest, anything anybody else does they are simply copying us (also, I’m from the South, it all plays into this mentality I had when I was young). Of course I have learned time and time again over the last fifteen years as a truly open minded adult that I was horribly mistaken with that line of thinking. My point being, there was a time when I would have turned my nose up to these guys simply because they were British. They, in fact, are part of the reason I am a more open minded and aware person today when it comes to film and entertainment. When this movie came out it was so exciting because it was like they were invading American film with it. They wrote a simple but really funny story and invited all the cool kids to the party.

To voice the alien namesake of the film they got Seth Rogen, such an unbelievably like able guy that when he went before a Congressional panel to talk about Alzheimers disease elected men of official office seemed to be gushing over him. They got some SNL headliners in Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig. They got a typical comedy go-to-guy Jason Bateman and brought in other regular comedy stars like Jane Lynch, Jeffrey Tambor, David Koechner, and Joe Lo Truglio. To put a cherry on top of this alien joy ride they throw in Ripley herself just for the fun of it. Sigourney Weaver’s mere presence in this film makes it all that much better given the content.

Two popular British stars who have succeeded in doing their own thing at home decided to head this way and try it out American style. I think they were very successful at it and I think that is the most significant thing about this movie. It’s a fun and funny movie but more than that it represents a significant accomplishment and testament to the talents of Pegg and Frost. Of course Pegg is becoming more and more of a star these days on his own. I like the variety of his work but I’d rather see him with Frost at his side any day of the week.

I was at work one day when I mentioned this movie coming up on the blog and was surprised to hear animosity about the film from a zealously religious friend and co-worker. It gave me pause for a moment but when I gave it some thought I understood. This movie does refute the existence of God by having an alien character that knows more about the universe than we do. I had never given the matter much thought but I understood why it would bother my friend. I think it’s a shame to let something like that rob you of enjoying something so funny but hey, to each his own right?

This movie certainly doesn’t bother me on any moral or religious pretexts and I am happy enough just to enjoy it for what it is. It is a remarkably funny comedy and it’s a lot of fun to watch. I love the ease with which everything regarding Paul seems to make sense. It’s clever writing on behalf of Pegg and Frost; who are great as the comic book guys touring the American nerd hot spots. They made a cool movie and there is no reason to take anything literally enough to blind you from something you could enjoy. You avoid this one and you are missing out on something that is good. It’s a mere step in careers that continue to climb the steps of stardom for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. In the case of these two I’ve found that all steps on the way to the top have been worth our time so far. Good movie that I think any mature adult would enjoy.

NEXT MOVIE: The People Under the Stairs (1991)

As a footnote, I wanted to include video of Seth Rogen’s testimonial before Congress. Amber showed it to me one day and I was both taken with his story and impressed by how he handled himself in such an official setting. He comes in and is naturally funny before delving into a very serious topic. I admire what he stood up to do and I hope he has been able to make headway with his goals. When you watch this, pay note to how the Congressman is responding to him.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Year: 2005
Directed By: Judd Apatow
Written By: Judd Apatow and Steve Carell

RYAN’S REVIEW:

Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, and even Jonah Hill with his small role.  These guys started a journey together with this movie that has produced many great comedies over the years.  I have faith they will continue to be successful for some time.  However this is very much Steve Carell’s film, and he owns it.  I think he is hilarious as the 40 year old virgin, I also think he was successful in continuing to play that exact same character for 7 seasons of The Office.  I do like Steve Carell but I am not a fan.  I think he has his moments but by and large he overacts and takes things too far.  His leaving The Office has been categorized as a tragedy by some but I disagree.  I don’t know if the show will survive without him or not, but I know that far too often the character Michael Scott makes me feel uncomfortable. His character becomes not funny but ridiculous and awkward at those moments.  I do not like to feel uncomfortable and awkward while watching a comedy, it should be funny not stupid.  Neverthless, Steve Carell does have his moments of greatness and I can understand why people love him so much.

This film was a sure thing going in wasn’t it? When you decide to go there, when you decide to make a film about a 40 year old virgin the possibilities are just unlimited.  Those jokes go in a hundred different directions and they write themselves.  The Judd Apatow crew doesn’t disappoint with this either. The cast is fantastic, Seth Rogen and Jane Lynch both make the most of their opportunities with their roles. Everyone is funny and the laughs don’t stop.  The only problem is that there may have actually been too many jokes and funny scenarios crammed into the film.  It’s long, but the movie maintains it’s humor and in the end it was all worth it.  This is a great movie, but six years later I happen to think that it was the lesser film of some of the funnier people in the film.  Specifically the aforementioned Apatow crew of Apatow, Rogen, and Hill. This is the best it gets for Steve Carell and he deserves special recognition.

AMBER’S REVIEW:

I would like to start by saying, I love this movie.

I distinctly remember watching the trailer for this movie and literally asking myself, “what the hell, is this for real?” Well, yes they were for real and they succeeded. This is one of my favorite comedies. If I am remembering correctly, this is one of the first films I watched that starred Steve Carell. This movie keeps you entertained throughout with amazingly funny people including Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd and Apatow’s own wife, Leslie Mann. An interesting fact about this movie is that a lot of it was ad libbed. The scene where Steve Carell’s character had his chest waxed is a great example. I’m not sure what it was about the pain that made him scream out “Ahhh Kelly Clarkson” but I loved it and laughed my ass off. This movie also started a game that is still played by college guys everywhere…”You know how I know you’re gay?”

I also want to take a second to mention Leslie Mann. Her role was short in this film, but her scene is one of my favorites. To this day, I randomly say “I’m starvin’. Let’s get some fuckin’ french toast.” Timeless.