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items tagged with Judd Apatow

A Star Is Reborn: "The Guilt Trip," "This Is 40," and "Jack Reacher"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-12-24 00:20:27

Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand in The Guilt TripTHE GUILT TRIP

Aside from her appearances as Ben Stiller’s hippie mom in those increasingly labored Meet the Parents sequels, Barbra Steisand hasn’t been seen in a film since her 1996 directorial effort The Mirror Has Two Faces, and considering what an ego-fueled embarrassment that picture was, some of us have been grateful for the break. It’s worth remembering, though, that when her material doesn’t let her down (and she’s not directing her own star vehicles), Streisand can still be a fantastically smart and inventive comedienne – which, happily, she’s allowed to be in nearly every scene of The Guilt Trip.


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Single Wiped Female: “Bridesmaids,” “Jumping the Broom,” and “Priest”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-05-16 00:07:46

Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Maya Rudolph, and Kristen Wiig in BridesmaidsBRIDESMAIDS

You wouldn’t necessarily think that exhaustion and depression would be fertile subjects for a big-screen slapstick – at least, for a big-screen slapstick that didn’t star Paul Giamatti. Yet in director Paul Feig’s buoyant and brainy Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig plays a sad, discouraged, frequently humiliated maid of honor with such inventiveness and style that she seems to be creating a new comic archetype right before your eyes. Hiding her misery behind a thinly veiled mask of courtesy and good cheer, and letting her anger and resentment spill out in sarcastic asides and messy, chaotic bursts, Wiig’s Annie – like many of the brilliantly talented performer’s most memorable characters – is a singular creation. And so, too, is Bridesmaids, a female-driven Judd Apatow comedy (he’s a co-producer) with the rare distinction of being smarter than it is funny, though it’s still plenty funny.


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Shallow Brooks: "How Do You Know" and "Tron: Legacy"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-12-19 23:59:46

Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd in How Do You KnowHOW DO YOU KNOW

There’s actually quite a bit of good to be said about writer/director James L. Brooks’ How Do You Know, not least of which is that it’s nowhere near as unbearable as Brooks’ last offering, 2004’s Spanglish. Unfortunately, that’s not the same as saying the movie itself is good.


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Sex? Drugs? Rock ’n’ Roll!: "Get Him to the Greek" and "Splice"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-06-06 21:12:49

Jonah Hill and Russell Brand in Get Him to the GreekGET HIM TO THE GREEK

It probably says less about the movie than our current movie culture when I say that, for my money, Nicholas Stoller's Get Him to the Greek is the smartest, shrewdest, and overall best film I've yet seen in 2010. The competition, after all, is in no way fierce; if forced to compose a 10-best list at this admittedly early point in this regrettably weak year, I'd include Stoller's raunchy comedy, Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer, and then respectfully plead the Fifth.


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Love Is a Man and Splintered Thing: "Duplicity" and "I Love You, Man"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-03-23 12:47:11

Julia Roberts and Clive Owen in Duplicity

DUPLICITY

Starting with the film's enticing prelude, which finds Julia Roberts and Clive Owen engaging in the first of several argumentative flirtations in exotic locales, I felt that Duplicity was an intensely sharp, clever, enjoyable movie. It wasn't until its very last shot, though, that I felt it was also a great one.


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