Currently browsing the "Judd Apatow" tag.

Review: Hal

In the 1970s, there was a director who made an extraordinary series of socially conscious and brilliantly entertaining films. His name was Hal Ashby. From Harold and Maude to Being There, his films have endured, yet when people speak of filmmakers from that era, Scorsese and Coppola are most often the names that come up. Most likely that is because they continued to make great films while Ashby’s glory days lasted only a decade. Nevertheless, Hal is a great reminder of his creative genius and the still contentious relationship between art and commerce.

The Big Sick Review

The Big Sick is an offbeat romantic dramedy based on the real-life courtship between Pakistan-born actor/comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his therapist-turned-writer/producer wife, Emily V. Gordon. The pair co-wrote the script that dramatizes – in a clever and witty way – the struggles they went through to overcome cultural differences, and a major health scare, to find their happily ever after. Kumail is played by Kumail Nanjiani (not necessarily the smartest casting decision) while Emily is played by Zoe Kazan, who has much stronger acting chops, even though she’s in a coma for half the movie. The film is bittersweet and also rather timely as a platform for showcasing misconceptions about Muslim culture.

Trainwreck

Trainwreck cruises along at a raunchy but entertaining clip for a solid hour or so. Then – about two-thirds of the way through – it veers off track. Not catastrophically. But enough to derail what might otherwise be a more enthusiastic review. Fans of the suddenly-everywhere Amy Schumer will likely get a kick out of her first foray into leading actress territory. After all, she wrote the movie. So it’s pure Schumer shtick, guided by the direction of Judd Apatow, known for movies like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Bridesmaids, This is 40, and Pineapple Express. If those titles don’t ring a bell – or ring the wrong one – then you should probably skip Trainwreck. If you’re in the mood for a bawdy romantic dramedy that reverses the conventional gender roles but is otherwise quite formulaic, then punch your ticket for Trainwreck. Or wait for the rental. It doesn’t really need to be seen on the big screen.

This Is 40

Writer/director Judd Apatow’s midlife crisis comedy This is 40 is not that funny, or even that good – especially for a movie that the studio has been touting for major awards consideration. Best Picture? Seriously?! I’m a firm believer in the whole ‘write what you know’ philosophy. But in this case, art imitating life isn’t much fun to watch – even if you’re the target demographic: a happily or unhappily-married 30 or 40-something with kids. If you’re looking for validation or commiseration, you’ll certainly find that here. But if you’re looking for a cinematic escape, pick something else (scroll through our site – there’s lots to choose from!).

Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids really is like The Hangover with chicks. And like The Hangover, this smart adult comedy should appeal to both sexes because, well, it’s pretty darn funny – even when it’s gross.

Get Him to the Greek

If you’re in need of a laugh, get yourself to a theater to see Get Him to the Greek.  I went in not expecting too much – perhaps to be mildly amused – but I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times.  It’s basically a road trip movie involving a rock star whose career is fading and a low level record company employee sent to corral him and “get him to the Greek.”