Funny People

This is 40

Self-indulgent. Nevel-gazing. Structureless. Plotless. These are some of the shared criticisms that have been leveled at Judd Apatow’s This Is 40, but many of these denunciations have been articulated in tandem with complaints about the film’s length. “This is 40 hours long” became a common joke on Twitter after press screenings leading to the theatrical release, and descriptions of critics’ experience of the film’s length were often provided in great detail alongside some of the above criticisms. Dana Stevens of Slate even mistakenly referred to the 133-minute film as “nearly three hours long.” It’s strange that, in the same month that saw the high-profile releases of several two-and-a-half-plus-hour films including Django Unchained, Les Miserables, and Zero Dark Thirty, it’s Apatow’s film that has received the bulk of holiday season duration-related criticism. Sure, there have been complaints about The Hobbit’s 170-minute running time, but that’s also a film that is 1/3 of an adaptation of a relatively short novel and has been projected on some screens at an eye-fucking frame rate. In short, the length of The Hobbit seems to be only one of several problems, whereas the flaws of This is 40 have often been summarized, and inferred, as revolving around its length.

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The only way you can describe the new trailer for This Is 40 is to say that it looks, unmistakably, like a Judd Apatow film. Not only are his wife and kids front and center, but so are a ton of other actors that he’s known for collaborating with, they’re all engaging in that stoner-shenanigans-that-still-tug-on-the-heartstrings humor that Apatow perfected if not invented, and it’s all set to a George Harrison song that feels like it was written precisely so it could accompany the sentimental hard sell of a trailer for a Judd Apatow movie.

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Adam Sandler Funny People

It’s December 2003, and Mel Gibson is standing in front of a rabid audience after premiering an unfinished version of The Passion of the Christ. This was the same guy who chuckled his way through Lethal Weapon. The same actor who got his start insinuating that a post-Apocalyptic baddie should saw his own limb off. Yes, he’d made prestigious award-grabs like Braveheart, but this was something different. Out of the darkness, someone asked where Gibson could go from here and, shielding his eyes symbolically from the spotlight, he said he couldn’t go back. He’d gotten the big house and the pool and the fame, but there was no way he could return to the types of movies he’d made before exploring the final hours of Joshua of Nazareth’s life. The movie was a plunge into the ocean, and the actor/director knew it. If anything, Funny People was Adam Sandler’s Passion, but it didn’t come with the same sort of obvious shift. It was a quieter change that – innocently as it seemed – served to undermine the career Sandler had. Whereas Gibson (as clinically insane as he is) seemed to grasp what he’d done, Sandler has remained in the dark to his career’s detriment. Bluntly put, Funny People and his choices afterward ruined Adam Sandler‘s career.

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If Jesus or Tupac ever finally return like we’ve all been saying they will, they should probably do it in a Judd Apatow film or something like that. We love cameos, don’t we? It’s especially delightful when it’s extremely unexpected, and of course extra points if they are playing themselves – or better yet some kind of silly version of themselves. It’s all about recognizing the kind of person you are perceived to be, and then playing off that in a way that makes the audience realize that you are in on the joke. If a celebrity is able to do that, it’s instant coolness.

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Lena Dunham‘s new HBO show, Girls, fits right into producer Judd Apatow‘s wheelhouse: it’s funny, awkward, honest, and never afraid to show characters at their ugliest. The lead, Hannah (Dunham), is a young 20-something looking for direction, similar to plenty of Apatow’s characters in TV and film. Hannah and her friends aren’t the nicest or the most admirable of characters, but they’re about as real as a group of friends can get. Hannah is one of those phases that plenty of artists — such as Dunham and Apatow — could relate to: being young and struggling. In usual HBO fashion, Girls is a show that pushes the pain, never letting its characters off easy. That, amongst other topics, were discussed between Apatow, Dunham, and I the day after its terrific premiere at SXSW. Here’s what Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow had to say about the movie-like structure of the show, writing vomit drafts, and personal comedy:

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Directors and writers aren’t the only one with viewpoints on filmmaking, so we’re starting at the beginning and the bottom as two production assistants give us their stories and share their insights into starting out in Hollywood. Plus, Fat Guy Kevin Carr joins us to play Good News/Bad News and deliver his own TED Talk. Download This Episode

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Another week, another round of dollars to be spent here on This Week in Blu-ray. And just like last week, there are a few movies worth buying.

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Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves standing in line at the unemployment office. These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to buy more DVDs. This week… Far Cry, Funny People, Mad Dog Morgan and more!

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Here’s one for all you studio-gossip hounds: Universal Pictures announced rather suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly today that Chairman Mac Shmuger and Co-Chairman David Linde are to be replaced with new Chair Adam Fogelson and Co-Chair Donna Langley. But why?

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summer09-winners

Americans + sitting on asses + it’s hot outside + reasonably kickass movies = CA$H. Now that’s an equation that balances, to the tune of $4.17 billion fucking dollars. Come inside, check out the winners/losers recap, and cash some checks with this year’s top ten.

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On a very special episode of Reject Radio, mistake guest host Landon Palmer for Bill O’Reilly, get pissed at movie marketing, and Neil has one more margarita than is advisable.

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Don’t let the obvious title fool you–Landon actually enjoyed Judd Apatow’s latest, and this week’s Culture Warrior explores the virtues of an unfunny movie about funny people.

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Well, why don’t we just officially come out and say it, now? “Summer season at the movies has been crap!” Okay, maybe it really hasn’t been that bad, but it sure feels that way to some people.

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Kevin Carr breaks down the week’s releases, looking at Funny People, Aliens in the Attic, and The Collector.

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Our man on the scene Kevin Kelly reports in with his Funny People junket report, including interviews with Judd Apatow, Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen and more.

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It’s another edition of the Reject Report and we have some big wide releases on tap this weekend, including the family adventure Alone in the Attic and the Judd Apatow laughfest Funny People, starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Kevin and Neil reunite in the Magical Studio in the Sky after Neil’s stint at the big house (or rather the little house; it was Pahrump, Nevada after all). They contemplate how funny Funny People is and whether anyone knows that Aliens in the Attic is coming out.

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funny-people

Deeper than most comedies, funnier than most dramas, and Judd Apatow’s most mature film. Gird your loins Rejects, as Funny People has arrived. Come inside to see what we think about it.

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Universal Pictures, along with the folks over at Funny or Die, has released the first part of a two-part documentary about a special comedian named Randy…

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Universal Pictures has released a full-length red band trailer for Judd Apatow’s upcoming comedy Funny People today, which fails to feel very red band, but does deliver some laughs.

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published: 04.20.2014
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published: 04.19.2014
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published: 04.19.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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