Seth Rogen

Seth Rogen in Superbad

Way back in the dark ages of 2012, Paramount snatched up a little untitled comedy pitch from a guy named Rodney Rothman. A little comedy pitch … with Seth Rogen and Kevin Hart attached to star and Rogen and Evan Goldberg attached to produced. So, more like a really, really huge pitch, I guess. Oh, also Rothman did a bunch of work on Undeclared and executive produced Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which is probably worth something. Well, the dark ages are over, and now word has gotten out about this untitled pitch (now a mostly-titled screenplay), from the guy who’s planning on directing it: Nicholas Stoller. Him, you might remember from the time he directed Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek and The Five-Year Engagement, as well as from when he shared writing duties on the last two Muppets movies. Also, his Neighbors is poised to hit in a big way this summer –so he’s got that going for him, which is nice. Now Stoller is taking to the streets (the streets of the Internet, anyway) to pump up this film that he might be directing but hasn’t yet signed on to. First, he went to Slashfilm, where he reaffirmed what the movie was about: the first (fictional) time a black and white cop were partnered up. And he mentioned that this new picture’s got marijuana and hip jazz music and that he really, really wants to direct it. Also, he mentioned that it’s “kind of a Baz Luhrman world mixed with Tarantino […]

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Neighbors

Wholesomeness does not last forever, especially the kind seemingly cooked up in a Disney or Nickelodeon lab somewhere. Plenty of child stars – squeaky clean in their tween years – have fallen from grace in some way or another. Naked pictures! Rehab! Drugs! (Maybe that last one before rehab! Maybe also after, though!) Indie movies! It’s a rough world out there, and it’s hard to stay on the straight and narrow (or the at least overly family-friendly) path for too long. Such is the case with young Zac Efron. The three-time star of the Disney Channel’s hugely popular High School Musical series (a gem of modern kiddie fare, and don’t you ever forget it) has had some, well, troubles. There’s been some drugs. Some rehab. Some getting peed on by Nicole Kidman on screen. There’s been some oat-sowing, okay? But although Efron has made some missteps and mistakes in both his personal and professional lives, but it looks like he might have finally found a way to marry his panache for the bad boy stuff with something that might actually make some damn money. It’s called Neighbors, and you’re not going to be able escape it this time next month. 

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Zac Efron and Seth Rogen in NEIGHBORS

You might expect an R-rated comedy starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, directed by the guy who made Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Five-Year Engagement, to be loose and sloppy, like Rogen’s torso. But Neighbors turns out to be tight and lean and eminently watchable, like Efron’s torso. It’s boisterously funny, yet also focused and perceptive. Who knew a Rogen movie could be all of those things at once? Rogen and the suddenly indispensable Rose Byrne play Mac and Kelly, new parents working through the mixed emotions of loving their adorable baby girl while missing their old, fun lives. After a few lukewarm gags along the usual lines (they want to go to a late-night party but fall asleep instead!), we get to the crux of the matter as a fraternity moves in to the house next door. Under the guidance of dude-bros Teddy (Efron) and Pete (Dave Franco), the frat behaves exactly the way Mac and Kelly were afraid they would, with raucous nightly parties. (For some reason they’re the only neighbors bothered by the noise.) The new situation intensifies Mac and Kelly’s insecurity about becoming grown-ups. They want to be cool, and even more than that, they want to be cool in the eyes of hot college kids (Mac unhesitatingly calls Teddy “the sexiest man I’ve ever seen”). With a joint as a peace offering, the couple gets on the frat’s good side and they all promise to be considerate neighbors.

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Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

There are certain rivalries that never die, no matter how much time has passed, no matter what has happened in the world. Coke vs. Pepsi. Rocky Balboa vs. Ivan Drago. The Harlem Globetrotters vs. The Washington Generals. And then there’s the battle that raged on in the early 1990s, still lasting until this day, between the people who loved their SEGA gaming systems, and the people sitting firmly in camp Nintendo. Best bros and collaborators Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have recognized the significance of this era of gaming and are taking Console Wars to the big screen, a film that chronicles the deep, dark war between the established company with beloved franchises (Nintendo) and the scrappy arcade folks with big dreams and creative characters — SEGA, who re-entered the scene with the SEGA Mega Drive.

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen in

Do people still buzz about things, or is that a term from the 90s that’s just serving to show my age? You know, bees buzz, and if you get a bunch of people talking about something they start to sound like bees, so something that gets people talking has buzz? Anyway, someone who deserves a heck of a lot more buzz than he’s getting at this point in his career is Jonathan Levine. He’s the sort of filmmaker who’s done nothing but good work so far, who seems to improve as a filmmaker with every movie he makes, but who still hasn’t managed to get to that next level where cinephiles all know his name and you can sell a project just by saying that he made it. Given his track record to this point, that seems more like a failure of the people who have been marketing his movies than a failure of his work, because his stuff is not only really good, it’s all had a certain element of mainstream appeal. You’d think that if more people saw his films, or at least were better made aware that the same guy has done all of his stuff, then his name would become a commodity pretty quickly.

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schlosswitz

While the first script that Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg wrote together, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, had what it took to not only get produced, but also become a stoner comedy smash hit and the start of a film franchise, their subsequent work together has seen a law of diminishing returns as far as the laugh factor is concerned. After the first Harold & Kumar they were tapped to both write and direct a sequel, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, write and produce a trilogy-capper A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, and write and direct the most recent entry in the American Pie abomination, American Reunion. Other than with the obvious exception of Waffle Bot in A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, these movies have arguably been void of any funny jokes, and were certainly nowhere near as funny as the first Harold & Kumar movie, so what’s it going to take to get some more chuckles out of two guys who have shown they can produce them in the past? Maybe getting them out of the soul-sucking routine of producing studio sequels will do the trick. Or, at least, that’s what producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg seem to be hoping, because Deadline is reporting that they’ve just hired them to direct a currently untitled teen sex comedy that used to called Cherries.

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caplan

Over the past decade or so Lizzy Caplan has built a pretty respectable career for herself being one of the go-to names you call if you need someone who’s both a pretty face and a sharp tongue for a big screen comedy. If you look over the girl’s filmography, she’s just constantly working. It’s looking like things could be getting even better for her as far as the acting game is concerned though, because not only is she currently starring in one of the fall’s hot new television dramas, Masters of Sex, which is creating quite a bit of critical buzz, but THR is reporting that she’s also just been recruited to be the female lead in the sure to be big next comedy from co-directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (This Is the End), The Interview. What is The Interview? An absolutely insane-sounding movie about a smarmy talk show host and his television producer sidekick who somehow get wrapped up in a plot to assassinate the prime minister of North Korea. That’s what.

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Actors Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen

For whatever reason, comedy writing duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Superbad, This is the End) have long felt inspired by the plight of sausages. It was over two years ago that we first heard they were interested in writing an animated movie about an anthropomorphized sausage who gets lost in the supermarket and needs to find his way back to his aisle before the Fourth of July, and in that time it would seem that not only have they not moved on to other projects that sound less ridiculous, but they’ve actually been hard at work making this sausage movie happen. Maybe they just like food? Regardless of their motivations, it was announced in a press release today [via /Film] that Rogen and Goldberg’s sausage movie is officially going to be called Sausage Party, and it’s going to be made by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Annapurna Pictures. In addition to working together on the script, the duo will also be serving as producers on this “raunchy animated movie about one sausage’s quest to discover the truth about his existence.”

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Neighbors

“Welcome to the darkness, bitches.” Imagine you’re a young professional enjoying life in your picturesque neighborhood with your happy little family. Life’s good – you’re not terribly unhip yet, you’ve got a smoking hot wife, and a newborn baby. But things get upended when the new neighbors you’ve been so anxious to meet and probably make be your news best friends turn out to be the world’s rowdiest fraternity, as is the case in Neighbors (formerly known as Townies), the comedy from Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek, The Muppets) about ruining Seth Rogen‘s suburban dreams. Now, if you’re Rogen and wife Rose Byrne, you’re going to do the yuppie thing, which is politely reason with frat leader Zac Efron to stop. And when that doesn’t work, you’re going to start fighting back against all the public sex, raucous parties, literal cannonballs and debauchery with your own shenanigans. Check out the NSFW trailer for yourself:

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the-blues-brothers

Movies that are able to effectively blend action and comedy tend to be real crowd pleasers. Large segments of the moviegoing public go to the cinema specifically to escape, and, really, what’s more escapist than laughing and being thrilled at the same time? From The General to Big Trouble in Little China to Shaun of the Dead, the best action comedies tend to become cult favorites that stand the test of time and get re-watched constantly. There’s one action comedy that has a giant cult following I’ve never found an inroad to appreciate though—John Landis’ 1980 hit, The Blues Brothers. It’s not hard to see why many find it memorable. It’s set in an exaggerated version of lower class Chicago that’s easy to romanticize, it gets to ride the coattails of John Belushi’s gone-too-soon legacy, and it features so many legendary musicians that you almost feel like you have to respect it by proxy. Putting all that aside though, the movie is really long and slow, it doesn’t contain many big laughs, and quite frankly I have a hard time finishing it without falling asleep. One recent action comedy that doesn’t get any respect is 2011’s The Green Hornet, and seeing as its writers, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, released the impressive and seemingly well-liked This is the End over the weekend, it feels like an appropriate time to revisit it and ask why that is. The Green Hornet made a decent amount of coin, and was successful enough on […]

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This-Is-The-End-Rogen-Franco-Hill

For their inaugural directing outing, Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen haven’t strayed to far from what (and who) they know. The screenwriting duo (Rogen, as we assume you know, has starred in a number of their scripted films, including Superbad, Pineapple Express, and The Green Hornet) have teamed up behind the camera to write and direct their apocalyptic comedy This Is the End, with Rogen again assuming the mantle of leading man (even if it’s among a large field of funny guy leading men). With a supporting cast that includes just about every comedian of a certain age working today in Hollywood (including Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, and Craig Robinson as the core group, along with a bevy of supporting turns from a mess of other talent), the film could certainly be far more glitzy and self-important, but it’s a relatively simple story about a group of friends who get trapped together during the Rapture. Hijinks ensue, cannibalism happens, the Devil shows up, a sequel to Pineapple Express is filmed, and all anybody wants is a damn Milky Way bar. It really doesn’t matter that everyone we’re watching is a celebrity, because this really is the end of the world (and they know it, and we know it, this Rapture stuff isn’t a trick). Turns out, MTV Movie Awards or whatever it is the kids dole out these days don’t matter much when a fire-breathing dragon thing is blowing down your door as Los Angeles smolders […]

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This-Is-The-End-Rogen-Franco-Hill

A lot of people make fun of Adam Sandler for choosing his projects based on whether or not their filming would make for a good vacation for him and his friends. He picks a story set in an exotic local, shoehorns a bunch of product placement into the script to make sure everything gets paid for, casts his buddies in all of the supporting roles, and then they go hang out. It’s not a bad scam. And if the trailers we’ve been getting for This is the End are any indication, it’s a scam that the next generation of comedic actors have finally gotten hip to.

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Pineapple Express

Yes, April Fools jokes are, by and large, just kinda silly and essentially pointless in movie-land (except for this one!), but every now and then, a good one comes along. Such is the case with this fake trailer for Pineapple Express 2, a little slice of movie trickery that actually functions as trailer for this year’s Seth Rogen and James Franco team-up, their apocalyptic comedy This is the End. With Pineapple Express co-star Danny McBride also starring in This is the End, no wonder the team felt the need to cook up a couple minutes of laughs that make us jones for such a sequel. Very clever. Check out the special April Fools trailer for Pineapple Express 2 (aka This is the End) after the break, and relive the glory of McBride saying “thug life,” Franco and Rogen professing their love for each other, and the sweet sounds of music that relies on gunshots for nearly one-half of its runtime.

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Goldberg and Rogen

The relationship between Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg continues to be one of the most serious and lasting in Hollywood. They’ve teamed up as writers on a handful of projects now, like Superbad, Pineapple Express, and The Green Hornet, and this summer’s upcoming apocalypse comedy, This is the End, even sees them trying to squeeze themselves into the same director’s chair as co-directors. Well, things on that film must have just went swimmingly, because before it even gets released to the public and judged by their spending habits, Rogen and Goldberg have already been hard at work putting together their next project. THR is reporting that the duo are working with their longtime studio collaborator, Columbia, to next bring us a movie called The Interview. Rogen and Goldberg will share writing, directing, and producing duties on the project, with Rogen also said to be stepping in as the star. And, more than that, The Interview looks like it could possibly be teaming the duo back up with their sometimes third wheel James Franco as well.

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The Guilt Trip Trailer

There are bad movies. There are BAD movies. And then there’s The Guilt Trip, a cinematic abomination that offends by being heinously, obscenely bland. This is the blandest bland movie you’ll ever see, a comedy bereft of comedy and a road trip flick in which the most exciting occurrences feature a character eating a giant steak and getting her ears pierced. If that’s your idea of a great time at the multiplex, and if your enthusiasm for such an enterprise is only matched by your affection for Barbra Streisand, well, here ya go. If, like most of us, you demand actual content from movies when you shell out your ten bucks or so for a ticket, you’ll leave the theater in a state of heightened anxiety at best, and downright fury at worst. This lazy slop from director Anne Fletcher and writer Dan Fogelman stars Streisand as Joyce Brewster, overprotective mom to struggling inventor Andy (Seth Rogen). When Andy needs to drive across the country to pitch a cleaning product to various big box retailers and other major potential clients, he invites mom along for the ride. His reasons for doing so are too convoluted to be addressed here, but before the pair leaves their starting point in New Jersey, you’ll wish he hadn’t bothered.

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This Is the End

Just in time for (insert tons of played out end of the world jokes here), the first teaser trailer for Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg‘s This Is the End (formerly known as The End of the World) has arrived. And, guess what? It’s a film about Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, and Jonah Hill living through an apocalypse in Los Angeles, getting trapped in a house together, and trying to survive – of course it’s funny. If the world doesn’t end tomorrow, the prospect of seeing this movie next summer is more than enough reason to keep living. Check it out for yourself:

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Are you more likely to see a movie in the theater if it’s followed by an exclusive, live Q&A event featuring that movie’s stars? What if it’s free? What if the Q&A is only via satellite and only temporally but not locally exclusive, and so no possibility of autographs or hugs? What if you still have the chance to submit a question to a relatively reclusive living legend of screen and song, such as Barbra Streisand? What if her answer is that she smoked pot with Peter Sellers? “I was married to Elliot [Gould] and he was with Britt Ekland,” the actress said while being broadcast to viewers in 20 theaters nationwide following a sneak preview of her upcoming film, The Guilt Trip, “and the funny thing is that we went to a restaurant and we started to riff on, like, should we have steak ice cream? It was funny at the time. It’s not funny now, because you’re not high.” People were turned away from the AMC Barrett Commons outside Atlanta on Sunday for this national sneak preview. But that happens all the time with complimentary, invite-style advance screenings. It’s hard to be sure whether there was more interest in this particular film and this particular showing of it that wouldn’t otherwise be there simply because the show was to be followed by a live interview with Streisand and her co-star, Seth Rogen. In my experience at film festivals and special events in New York, I’ve found that the […]

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The Guilt Trip Trailer

They’ve been a staple of comedy for as long as people having been waxing comedically about their problems: overbearing Jewish mothers. They poke, they prod, they have a uniform misunderstanding of everything that’s happening in the modern world, and they’re generally able to get under your skin like no one else you’ve ever met. But still…they’re mom. Sounds like a guy being annoyed by and then eventually growing closer to his overbearing mother could make for a good movie, huh? Well, that’s what the writer and director of The Guilt Trip, Dan Fogelman and Anne Fletcher, are hoping, because they’ve made a movie whose entire narrative seems to consist of a cross-country trip taken by a mother and son team played by Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen. So, how does it look? Not terrible. Certainly this is well-worn territory to anyone who’s seen more than a few minutes of stand-up comedy or watched more than a couple failed sitcom pilots, but the dialogue in this trailer appears to be amusing enough, and Streisand and Rogen both seem to be spot-on in their interpretations of the archetypical characters they’re playing. For Streisand fans especially, who haven’t been able to see her star in a movie that doesn’t have the word Fockers in the title for quite a while, this one should be a real treat.

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It can be difficult making friends once you’re past a certain age because the older people get the more set in their ways they become. Youth offers any number of bonding experiences that bring people together from grade school up through college, but once you enter the real world those opportunities start to dwindle. Husbands and wives, children, jobs, existing friends…these things tend to limit the time you have for meeting new people, becoming familiar with them and building new relationships. Past the age of thirty a catalyst of some kind is required to draw people together on short notice. Something big is good. Something of planetary importance is even better. Evan (Ben Stiller) is constantly on the lookout for friends and has formed more clubs than Tracy Flick ever dared to dream. He keeps busy with running club and Spanish for Senior Citizens, but when one of his Costco employees is viciously murdered Evan decides to form a Neighborhood Watch. Franklin (Jonah Hill) failed every test the police department threw at him, so the opportunity to join a “vigilante squad” appeals to him greatly. Bob (Vince Vaughn) is a recent transplant to town with his wife and teen daughter, and he jumps at the chance to hang out with the guys. And Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) is simply a responsible newcomer to our American shores. Together they form a local neighborhood watch. Together they will decide Earth’s fate as they discover and attempt to stop an alien invasion. Together, if […]

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In 2003, Sarah Polley starred in Isabel Coixet’s wonderful My Life Without Me as a young wife and mother who discovers that she has terminal uterine cancer – and only two months to live. Keeping the news from her loved ones, Polley’s Ann assembles a list of things to do before she dies – things like making tapes for her young daughters to listen to on their birthdays, finding a new wife for her beloved husband, and having a sexual relationship with another man. The driving force behind Ann’s decision to (eventually) embark on a passionate affair with no less than Mark Ruffalo (who can blame her) is Ann’s imminent demise and her desire to fill her last days with rich experiences. It’s one of her best performances as an actress, and it’s perhaps one of the best ways to approach Polley’s second directorial debut. In Polley’s Take This Waltz, Michelle Williams‘ Margot suffers in a way not wholly different than how Ann suffered in My Life. But Margot’s particular death sentence is of the Hamlet variety – she’s not sick and she’s not obviously falling apart, but Margot is decomposing of her own volition, dying since the day she was born, and both unable and unwilling to notice her blooming unhappiness. In short terms, Margot is bored and doesn’t realize it.

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