Judd Apatow

Pee-wee Herman

Rumors of a third Pee-wee Herman movie — a trilogy-completer! — have persisted for years, but now it seems as if we might be mere days away from getting an announcement of the official variety. Pee-wee himself (Paul Reubens, if you’re feeling formal) hit The Tonight Show last night where, with a minimum of goading, he fessed up to host Jimmy Fallon that, yes, there’s a new Pee-wee movie (officially) in the works, and yes, he and producer Judd Apatow definitely have a director on board. Well, who is it, you little be-bow-tied man? Tell us! Reubens intimated that we could expect to hear more formal stuff about the project within a week or so, but let’s try to crack this one ourselves right now. Who is going to direct this new Pee-wee feature? We’ve got some ideas.

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Lonely Island The Wack Album

It’s been four years since anyone thought a Saturday Night Live sketch deserved a shot at full-length featuredom. Four sweet, blissful years, unburdened by thoughts of Bill Hader’s Stefon twitching his way through 90 minutes of disappointment. But now that heavenly streak has been broken. Deadline reports that Universal has bestowed a grand “you know, this might not suck” to a Lonely Island movie. All three Islanders — Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer — will star in and produce the flick, with Taccone and Schaffer co-directing. Judd Apatow will also throw his weight behind the boys and also act as producer on the film, which will be “set in the world of music.” No word if that actually means a musical, but this is The Lonely Island, so we can stamp that with a definitive yeah, probably a musical. Saturday Night Live should be patting itself on the back. The Lonely Island are, without a shadow of a doubt, the most humongous thing the show has birthed in a very long time. The cast right now? Weak sauce, at least while still staffed with a pack of newbies and Kenan Thompson (who will continue his run on SNL until death then be stuffed and propped up on set so that he can remain a cast member for centuries to come). Hitching its wagon to a Lonely Island film is the smartest thing SNL could do right now.

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The 40 Year Old Virgin

“How many men, raised on a steady diet of Judd Apatow comedies in which the shlubby arrested adolescent always gets the girl, find that those happy endings constantly elude them and conclude, ‘It’s not fair’?” — Ann Hornaday “You know what? I respect women! I love women! I respect them so much that I completely stay away from them!” — Andy Stitzer, The 40-Year-Old Virgin 2005 wasn’t a terrible year to have a comedy in theaters. Wedding Crashers, Hitch and The 40-Year-Old Virgin all finished the year with record numbers, regardless of genre. Of the three, Virgin was the most shocking surprise. For Universal Studios. For Hollywood. At the time, Steve Carell (The Office had only been out for half a year to underwhelming ratings), Catherine Keener and the rest of the cast were seen as character actors and indie drama mainstays, not movie star leads. At the center of the low-budget film was Judd Apatow. A co-creator and producer of Freaks and Geeks, Apatow’s personal voice and vision in the world of cinema was not just unique, but refreshing to audiences and talent alike. Unlike Hitch or Wedding Crashers, Virgin didn’t attempt to hand in the classic story of Misogynistic Handsome Man Turns Reformed Gentleman. Instead it spun the comedic formula that studios had profited on since Some Like It Hot. Apatow focused on a man who was anything but misogynistic. A spinster who felt more at home with his still-in-the-box toy collection, Carrel’s Andy Stitzer was pure in a world where […]

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Girls

The third season of Lena Dunham‘s Girls was put to bed this past Sunday night, and we’re already speculating about what the next run has in store for those eponymous girls (and, more importantly, their awesome boys). The series’ love for ending things on a cliffhanger only heightens anticipation — there’s nothing like some good old-fashioned “will she? won’t she?” to keep people on board — and the third season didn’t back down from putting some possible big changes into motion. What will the fourth season look like? Who will be there? How much of it will we get? Will we get to meet Caroline’s spawn? Is is still going to be in Brooklyn? Loud yelling about Adam Driver! Everyone, get ahold of yourselves. We might not know the answers to all of those questions, but we sure do know a lot. Take a look.

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hannah-en-couple-avec-adam

Tomorrow night, while you’re tuned into the 71st Golden Globes, the HBO series Girls (which is again nominated for a couple of those awards) will be kicking off its third season with an excellent therapy-filled episode featuring the guest-starring talents of Richard E. Grant (wise and weaselly), Bob Balaban (hilariously mumbly), Kim Gordon (magnificently meth-y) and Danielle Brooks of Orange Is the New Black (I almost want to believe she’s the same character here). You’ll want to DVR it. And make sure to subscribe to the whole season while you’re scheduling that recording. If you got rid of HBO or don’t have it, borrow someone’s HBO Go password. Stick with it for another round. Even if you’ve already made up your mind that you’re not going to bother with the show anymore, not after a fairly mediocre and miserable sophomore season, rethink that decision. So far, having gotten the chance to dip halfway in with the first six episodes, I think this is the most entertaining season yet. Maybe not the most consistently interesting, I’ll give its critics that, but still very smart and funny and relevant. And most importantly I think it’s the most likable it’s ever been. Perhaps after the midway point the characters will start being really shitty or pathetic again, which I’m sure is what some of its audience actually wants anyway. For now, I think it’s nice to not hate these people for a while. Because it’s the third season, I’ve appropriately limited myself to only three reasons for […]

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schumer

The release of Anchorman in 2004 sent Judd Apatow off on a producing run that eventually made him the undisputed king of big screen comedy. For a few years there it felt like there wasn’t a comedy in theaters that didn’t have his name attached as the producer, and his efforts helped to launch the careers of a staggering amount of comedic actors. Somewhere along the way he got the reputation of being the head of a boys’ club though. Whether the reputation was deserved or not, Apatow became thought of as a filmmaker solely interested in bringing to life the “bromances” of arrested development-suffering male slackers. Maybe that’s why he’s been making such an effort lately to put together projects that give voice to some of the most talented female comedians out there. Back in 2011 he earned a mountain of success and accolades by helping Kristen Wiig bring her comedy Bridesmaids to the big screen, last year he created a near insufferable amount of buzz helping Tiny Furniture writer/director Lena Dunham develop the show Girls for HBO, and now Deadline is reporting that he’s signed a new deal to help standup comedian and the star of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, Amy Schumer, bring her unique brand of depraved material to theaters.

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commentary-thisis40

Judd Apatow‘s latest film is a sideways sequel of sorts in that it focuses on two of the supporting characters from his highest grossing movie, Knocked Up. Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) are married parents approaching their 40th birthdays, but instead of getting easier, their relationship and the lives have grown even more difficult. Well, they’re still living in a big, beautiful home and driving expensive cars, but material things don’t guarantee happiness. Theoretically. This Is 40 hits Blu-ray/DVD last week, and the hefty selection of special features includes deleted scenes, featurettes and some very funny outtakes along with a commentary featuring the writer/director riffing on the film’s production, cast and various musical cues. He also mentions his wife’s and daughters’ incredible acting talents. Keep reading to see what I heard on the commentary track for This Is 40.

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This is 40 Security Cam

If you’ve seen Judd Apatow‘s This is 40, you know that Megan Fox‘s character Desi co-owns a boutique with Leslie Mann‘s Debbie, and she likes to use the shop after hours for some interesting recreational activities. Fortunately, there’s a security camera to catch every clothed detail. In this exclusive clip, Apatow and Fox talk a bit about filming the scenes within the scene. It’s as educational as a home-done rectal examination. Plus, Fox finds Apatow’s sex directions and Charlene Yi’s walking in circles absolutely hilarious. Which is strange, because the funniest thing about this is Bill Hader‘s hat. This is how comedy gets made, people.

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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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This is 40

This is 40 is not funny. Or, at least, it’s not the “funny ha ha” outing movie-goers have come to expect from Judd Apatow, purveyor of stoned Seth Rogens and manically birthing Katherine Heigls and screaming Steve Carells. It’s not gut-busting or laugh-out-loud or stitch-inducing, but what it actually is may be something far better than all of that – it’s funny because it’s true. Picking up a few years after Apatow’s Knocked Up, the filmmaker turns to the previously-perilous marriage of Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) for his “sort-of sequel.” Pete and Debbie have already been through some minor marital squabbles (remember when Pete would sneak off to the movies, or when Debbie busted in on Pete’s fantasy baseball league?), but their fortieth birthdays (taking place within the same week) bring with them more challenges than they’ve faced before, and more serious ones to boot. All their normal stresses are exacerbated by turning the big 4-0 (Debbie even refuses to let anyone know her actual age), and the addition of financial strains, professional disasters, daddy issues, and a major dust-up at their eldest daughter’s school make it seem like they (and their marriage) might nor survive the week. See? Funny!

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This is 40 Megan Fox

It’s less than two weeks now until Judd Apatow’s latest riff-filled look at the life of the married human, This is 40, hits theaters, so that means it’s starting to be time for the film’s marketing team to go for the hard sell. You know what that means… it means they’ve now released a raunch-filled red band trailer meant to lure in all of the teenagers and young at heart people who love to hear people say naughty things, but are still on the fence when it comes to seeing a movie about wrinkled up old people in their 40s (yuck) doing whatever old people do. So what kind of new stuff does this new, more restricted trailer have in it that the ones playing on TV just aren’t going to get you? You’ve got Paul Rudd inspecting the inside of his butt while doing a contortionist routine, a frank discussion about what Megan Fox is hiding under her skirt, Apatow and Leslie Mann’s teenage daughter screaming about dicks, boner talk, mustache talk, and a partridge in a pear tree. Is all of this stuff funny? Yes, indeed it is. Is it funny enough to convince you to see another Apatow movie that clocks in at over two hours? Well, that’s something everybody is going to have to decide for themselves. The newer, naughtier ad is courtesy of Funny or Die, and the film itself is due to hit theaters on December 21. The time to decide whether this one […]

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Game of Thrones Behind the Scenes

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly news column that’s struggling on a slow-news Monday. Luckily there’s plenty of poster art to go around. Our evening begins with a behind the scenes shot from the production of Game of Thrones and its sure to be epic third season. It’s not telling us much, but the official production blog kicking into high gear is enough to whet the whistles of many a fan, including yours truly.

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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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Channel Guide - Large

Space western Firefly is one of those TV shows that every geek is supposed to have seen—it’s Whedon, it’s shiny, it’s a part of the sci-fi canon. Yet, it was only on the air for one season. The upcoming cast reunion at next week’s San Diego Comic-Con is one of the event’s most anticipated panels, but would this be true if the show had gone on for three more years? Would later seasons be able to match the first? Of course, no one can know the answer to that but I think when you consider the show’s enduring appeal, as well as the appeal of one-season wonders in general, you could say that unceremonious, early cancelation is actually a good thing.  When we’re presented with a show where the writing, acting, and production have achieved what feels like a perfect synergy, and then that’s yanked away, it’s infuriating. But maybe we should celebrate that ending.

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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 you’ve been closely following the career of Pee-wee Herman performer Paul Reubens (and shame on you if you haven’t been), then you know he’s been crowing about the fact that he’s got a new, Judd Apatow-produced Pee-wee movie in the works. It was almost two years ago when he first broke word that the movie was happening, and then he let everybody know he had turned in the first draft of the script a year after that. While news of a new Pee-wee movie was initially a cause for celebration, after two years of talk one has to begin wondering if this thing is really happening or not. If Apatow and company are really on board and looking to make this movie, then why is it taking so long to get things together? Reubens has been talking again, this time to ComingSoon, and he says he can explain the wait. “I actually wasn’t supposed to talk about it initially,” Reubens admits, “I was talking about it in this very veiled, secret way going, ‘Oh, I wish I could talk about it.’…It got leaked about six months to a year before it was supposed to.” I guess we can chalk that up to Pee-wee’s trademark giddy enthusiasm, but what’s the real scoop when it comes to this movie? Are we actually going to see it anytime soon?

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The idea of beginning a romantic comedy at the moment where most others end is a potentially intriguing and promising one. What happens after the meet-cute, the courtship, the third-act conflict and ultimate reunion that leaves our happy couple smiling and in love? If The Five Year Engagement is any indication, what happens next is a slow slog peppered with rom-com conventions, supporting characters who often outshine the leads, and enough laughs to sustain a far shorter movie. When we first meet Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) they themselves have already met, fallen in love and decided to spend the rest of their lives together. He has a great job as a chef in San Francisco, she’s awaiting an offer from UC Berkeley, and their future together looks bright. Until it doesn’t. Berkeley passes, but a school in Michigan offers her a two-year position so Tom gives up his job and the loving couple move east where she blossoms and he begins to fall apart. The wedding day gets pushed back again and again as Tom and Violet struggle to rediscover what brought them together in the first place. Hilarity ensues?

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Here comes This Is 40, Judd Apatow‘s self-confessed “sort-of sequel” to Knocked Up, and while it looks like Paul Rudd‘s Pete and Leslie Mann‘s Debbie have sufficiently ironed out their relationship issues, pretty much everything else seems to be falling apart around them. Mortified by their imminent aging (Debbie, in particular, refuses to accept that she’s now turning the big 4-0), the pair embark on a new way of life, thanks to Debbie’s “do better” list. As the film’s first trailer shows us, they have plenty to do when it comes to doing better. They’ll work out! They’ll stand up to bullies! They will make their kids spend more time outside! They’ll probably totally muck up everything! While the trailer’s use of fun.’s “We Are Young” is both too spot-on and too grating, this first look at This Is 40 shows that the film should be packed with that Apatowian mix of heart, humor, and honesty that mark his finest films. Also of note, we should all be so lucky to look like Mann in our fourth decade.

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Dynamic duo Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel continue their tangled professional careers together in The Five-Year Engagement, unlike the last film in which the pair split writing, with Stoller directing and Segel starring, Get Him to the Greek, their new film tackles some tough stuff in name of the comedy – marriage. The film centers on Segel’s Tom and Emily Blunt‘s Violet and their stumble to the altar. From the film’s first scenes, it’s obvious that Tom and Violet are very much in love, but a series of big life events that have nothing to do with their nuptials steadily pile up until it looks as if their five-year engagement will be just that, an engagement, with no wedding at the end. In the style of Stoller and Segel’s previous works, the film is both funny and true, and the addition of Judd Apatow as producer and a cast that includes Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Mindy Kaling, Rhys Ifans, Kevin Hart, Chris Parnell, and Brian Posehn only pumps up the film’s improv-influenced laughs. The press junket for The Five-Year Engagement was a laidback affair, and one that drove home the point that the film was a collaborative effort between people who actually like each other. Comprised of four roundtables of paired talent, your faithful Reject and a group of other online journalist spent time talking to Segel and Blunt, Nicholas Stoller and Judd Apatow, Brie and Kaling, and Parnell and Posehn. Revelations from the junket were not just confined to […]

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Editor’s note: With Girls premiering on HBO this weekend, we thought one of Kate’s favorites from SXSW was in need of a re-run. This review was originally posted on March 13, as part of our SXSW Film Festival coverage. Multi-hyphenate Lena Dunham has previously hit SXSW with two unique efforts – in 2009, with the debut of her ambitious, lo-fi Creative Nonfiction, and follow-up in 2010 with the controversial Tiny Furniture, which earned the Narrative Feature award in that year’s section. Dunham’s work has proven polarizing – some people admire her self-effacing and very personal brand of filmmaking, while others balk at her navel-gazing style. Returning to SXSW this year, Dunham again brought along a personal project about self-effacing, navel-gazing, shaky-legged twenty-something girls in the big city, but this time Dunham is serving as star/writer/director/producer on a television series, HBO’s Girls, produced with Judd Apatow. And while her previous works might not have the sort of widespread appeal that a television series would require, Dunham’s Girls is wickedly hilarious, quite accessible, and it proves that Dunham’s in-character pronouncement that she could be the voice of her generation is not far off – at all.

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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
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