Tag Archives: seth rogen

Trailer: This Is The End (2013)

UK release date June 28.

Cast: Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco

While attending a party at James Franco’s house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse.

Directed by Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen.

Running time not yet released.

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50/50 (2011)

“You can’t change your situation. The only thing that you can change is how you choose to deal with it.”

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anna Kendrick.

It has just the right balance. 50/50 manages to tackle the touchy subject of cancer in a light and occasional humorous matter. Never detracting from the devastating facts or true emotions that follow a diagnosis, this film is just right in every way.

Loosely based on a true story (a real-life friend of script writer, Will Reiser) 50/50 follows the life of 27 year old Adam when he’s diagnosed with spinal cancer. From his own journey to his friend’s and family’s, this well rounded story is told with a truth and bluntness that really allows it to be grounded, relatable and very accessible.

It’s fair to say most people will have been affected by cancer, not necessarily first hand, but perhaps by a family member or friend. Therefore this type of film has a big potential with its audience. Never shying away from being too out there or controversial, the characters smoke ‘medicinal’ marijuana and joke about their illnesses. While this may be met with a look of contempt, the ability for it to be so completely harmless mean the audience can’t really judge. This side of the film, a more lightweight account of having cancer, does give a life and hope to the film that you can’t help but hold on to. However this fluffiness is met with a harsh reality. Hair loss, ill health, a failing relationship, heart broken parents and a 50% chance of dying.

50/50 works so well because it is a real story for so many people. With the out of the blue diagnosis a numbness is met, pulled off fantastically by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He can’t even fathom this diagnosis – he doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink and actually recycles. While I worried with Levitt about slipping into Tom mode (500 Days of Summer), he manages to break this typecast and pave the way for a new character. The reactions of his loved ones, close friends and work mates is also completely true to form, at no time does the film feel anything less than an accurate account of a cancer patient.

Seth Rogan plays his part very well, a guy who doesn’t really get how serious this is from the off but eventually comes to terms with the potential result. Anna Kendrick was great as Katie, Adam’s therapist, much better than her Twilight role – she actually spurred a reaction out of me (along the lines of “Awww!”). The only actor I wasn’t that impressed by was Bryce Dallas Howard who plays Adam’s girlfriend. I didn’t feel she added much to the script and was maybe used as a prop for something else Adam has to overcome. The film could have survived without her, but she did okay in her role as the super-bitch.

Not something that you would immediately think could be viably successful, 50/50 is actually impressive in that it manages to humour its audience yet not detract anything in terms of emotion or the realism needed when tackling the cancer subject. A great film that is packed full of emotion, 50/50 should be watched 100%.

Star rating: 8/10

Directed by Jonathan Levine.

Running time 100 minutes.

Paul (2011)

“We’re just a couple of regular guys, walking down the street, with a small cowboy.”

Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Seth Rogen

Paul

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost team up once again to give us Paul, a comical science fiction film about an alien trying to get back to his home planet.

When two British comic book geeks travel to America for Comic Con, they plan a road trip on the way back that will see them pass through all of the top UFO hotspots. Always curious and interested in extra-terrestrial life, Graeme (Pegg) and Clive (Frost) are astonished when an alien named Paul appears and asks for refuge in their RV Campervan. They agree to take Paul where he wants, yet all the while being chased by the FBI who want to capture and kill him.

Obviously with Pegg and Frost in a film together it’s a definite recipe for comedy, though I don’t think Paul is their best. Their earlier films – Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz – were brilliant, so my expectations for Paul were quite high. I didn’t find myself laughing as much as I did with the others though and when it ended I was a bit disappointed with the overall result. It was still full of humour, but more of a crude type that I didn’t really enjoy. With clever references to other sci-fi flicks spread throughout the film, it will definitely please the more genre specific people in audience who love anything to do with aliens and out-of-this-world subject matter, or just appreciate the genre as a whole.

The CGI was fantastic. Paul looked so real and it was consistently believable, just as if he was another actor on set; having Seth Rogan do his voice over was a brilliant choice too. We also see notorious Alien actor Sigourney Weaver take the role as the agent leading the operation to catch Paul, although she isn’t revealed in person until the end. It’s a nice little surprise for all die hard sci-fi fans though her performance, albeit clever and self-referential, wasn’t all that memorable.

Whereas with the previous films that Pegg and Frost have fronted Edgar Wright had directed, Paul saw them step more into Hollywood with Greg Mottola as the man with the plan (he had previously worked on Superbad and Adventureland). The film moves at quite a slow pace and not much happens with the plot line, it’s a constant back and forth between the Campervan and FBI with not much action in between. This is where it differed again with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Sometimes it lost my attention and I think the film could have done with a bit more going on with the plot.

Overall Paul is a good, comedic, science fiction film. With many references to both well known and underrated science fiction films, it will sit well with audiences that watch due to its genre. While it isn’t as good as other Pegg-Frost collaborations, Paul has great CGI and humour that still deserve a watch – if you like that type of thing.

Star rating:  6.5/10

Directed by Greg Mottola.

Running time 104 minutes.

The Green Hornet (2011)

“It’s not dying that you need be afraid of, it’s never having lived in the first place.”

Cast: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou and Christoph Waltz

The Green Hornet

As far as superhero movies go, The Green Hornet falls flat in failing to amount to the potential it had. It’s a far cry from the revitalised comic book genre that has seen both Batman and Iron Man make their marks and at best, it’s just an action-comedy under the façade of a superhero movie.

When Britt Reid’s father dies, Britt is left in charge of his business, The Daily Sentinel, a front-runner of LA’s newspapers. He meets one of his father’s employees Kato, who he soon finds out is a highly technical mechanic. In a nutshell they decide to tackle LA’s crime by posing as a gang with advanced gadgets, hopefully uncovering other criminal gangs in LA and destroying them.

Under the guise of The Green Hornet and his sidekick, both Britt (Seth Rogen) and Kato (Jay Chou) aim to become more known to the public as to build a reputation. With the aid of The Daily Sentinel, it seems as though it was all meant to be. Enter the real villains. Chudnovski (Christoph Waltz) is the head of LAs biggest gang of criminals, often insulted and mocked due to his meek appearance and old age, he often needs an ego. When he hears of The Green Hornet he begins to do everything in his power to put a stop to this ‘rival gang’ before he loses the respect of his followers.

Seth Rogen doesn’t portray Britt in the way I’d hoped, he seems to play the same character that we see in every one of his movies. His attitude throughout is pretty chilled out, with an apparent lack of connection to the script. It was a bit disappointing to see this yet again, and unfortunately he’s starting to morph into a one trick pony. While in The Green Hornet he is a rather brash character with money and girls at his disposal, I’ve seen the same character in Knocked Up and Pineapple Express.

Christoph Waltz was a bit of a let down too. Compared to his role in Inglorious Basterds where he played the unforgiving “Jew Hunter”, his levels of malice and evil don’t shine through so well. This is most likely due to a completely different target audience though. The Green Hornet seems like it’s aimed toward a younger generation so obviously we can’t see the same type of evil from him, but a little more would have been great.

I enjoyed Jay Chou as Kato though there is a slight problem in understanding what he is saying all the time. His accent can be a bit difficult to overcome but as the movie progresses, it does become less of an issue. He is fantastic in his role as the quick moving, martial arts expert though.

Cameron Diaz plays a small part too, yet there is not much to comment on. She’s her usual pretty faced, indifferent self that had no real impact on me. I can barely remember any scenes with her. The highlight for me has to be the cameo from James Franco – though he only appears once and within the first 5 minutes. I just think he’s a great actor with an extensive career ahead of him, maybe they should have used him more.

I do have to say that the cinematography was great. I didn’t see it in 3D but I can see where Michael Gondry was going with the film. From the slow-motion fighting scenes to the full on car chases, it was fun to watch. It seems a bit out of his area though, having previously worked on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Be Kind Rewind, so credit has to be given for that.

All in all, if you’re looking for a really good superhero film that does the genre justice, I would turn to Batman Begins, The Dark Knight or Iron Man. For a bit of light hearted fun about a couple of wannabe heroes though, you’ll like The Green Hornet.

Star rating:  6/10

Directed by Michael Gondry.

Running time 119 minutes.