NEIGHBORS Review

by     Posted 135 days ago

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Even though Nicholas Stoller‘s Neighbors is packed with great jokes, the through line is about growing up without losing your identity.  Too often, “maturity” simply means “the absence of youth”.  We put away the fun, unencumbered life for the staples of a steady job and a loving family.  Neighbors seeks to find the balance between the responsibility of an adult without obliterating our young, joyful selves.  The movie not only manages to find the humor in this struggle, but it also provides a good metaphor for Stoller’s growth as a director.  By stepping out of Judd Apatow‘s endlessly riffing shadow, Stoller has delivered his best film yet.

Seth Rogen Talks NEIGHBORS, Expanding Rose Byrne’s Role, the R-Rated Animated Comedy SAUSAGE PARTY, THE INTERVIEW, PREACHER, and More

by     Posted 136 days ago

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All week I’ve said it and I’ll say it again: Nicholas Stoller’s Neighbors is an extremely funny movie filled with laugh out loud sequences.  You should definitely see it this weekend in a crowded theater.  If you haven’t seen the trailers or read our previous coverage, the film stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as a married couple with a newborn baby who must deal with a fraternity—fronted by Zac Efron—when it moves in next door.  Neighbors also stars Dave FrancoChristopher Mintz-PlasseJake JohnsonIke Barinholtz, Carla Gallo, Jerrod Carmichael, and Lisa Kudrow.

A few days ago at the New York City press day, I landed an exclusive interview with Seth Rogen.  During our wide ranging conversation he talked about transitioning from a struggling actor to being able to get movies made, how Neighbors changed from its inception to the final release, how and why they cast Rose Byrne, the status of The Interview and when we’ll see the first trailer, what’s going on with their adaptation of Preacher for AMC, the R-rated animated movie Sausage Party, how he really wants to be on an episode of Better Call Saul, Stoller’s Black and White that would star Rogen and Kevin Hart, director Jonathan Levine’s Christmas movie that would star Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Seth Rogen Talks PREACHER, Directing the Pilot, Mapping out the Entire Series, Making It Unpredictable for Comic Fans, and More

by     Posted 137 days ago

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With Breaking Bad over and Mad Men coming to a close next year, AMC is about to be without the two shows that helped build the network into what it is today.  As such, they’re currently looking for “the next big thing” that they hope will fill the void left by those two juggernauts.  One of their big gambles is on a television adaptation of the acclaimed comic series Preacher.  The show is being developed by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Breaking Bad alum Sam Catlin, and we recently spoke with Goldberg about where the show fits into their schedule and their visual approach to the series.

In addition to speaking with Goldberg, though, Steve also sat down with Rogen in anticipation of the release of Neighbors, and he also touched on their plans for Preacher.  Rogen said that he and Goldberg—his co-director on This Is the End—are currently signing on to direct the pilot as they work on the script.  However, he added that they’re also working towards mapping out the entire series before they really dig into the pilot script, noting that they hope to make enough changes so that the show is still surprising for fans of the comic.  Hit the jump for more.

Writer Evan Goldberg and Executive Producer James Weaver Talk R-Rated Animated Film SAUSAGE PARTY; Pixar Movies Will Get “Ripped Apart”

by     Posted 138 days ago

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We rarely get R-rated animated films, and while that’s a shame, it’s also understandable.  In addition to the genre always being considered as something for kids, the cost of animation also means it needs to bring in the widest audience possible, i.e. families.  But the upcoming animated comedy Sausage Party sounds like it will be anything but family-friendly.  Written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and directed by Conrad Vernon (Shrek 2) and Greg Tiernan, the story follows a group of supermarket foods trying to get back on their shelves before the biggest shopping day of the year, the 4th of July.  Their Lord of the Rings-type quest has them considering the great beyond, the meaning of their existence, and trying to fuck buns.

During the press day for Neighbors, Steve spoke with Goldberg and executive producer James Weaver about Sausage Party, and learned that their movie isn’t just coasting on being animated and R-rated.  It has a very specific target: Pixar and Disney movies.  Hit the jump to learn more about the film including details about the plot, the characters, and more.  The film is due out in 2015 and features the voices of Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Michael Cera, Edward Norton, David Krumholtz, Anders Holm, and Salma Hayek.

New Images from NEIGHBORS Featuring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, and Dave Franco

by     Posted 152 days ago

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Universal Pictures has released a batch of high-resolution Neighbors images from director Nicholas Stoller’s (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Five-Year Engagement) new comedy.  The film stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as a married couple with a newborn baby who must deal with a fraternity—fronted by Zac Efron—when it moves in next door.  Response to the pic’s premiere at the SXSW Film Festival was highly positive, and the trailers released thus far have promised an incredibly funny R-rated comedy.  That’s no surprise when you have comedic talents like Rogen and Byrne heading up the film, but Efron has drawn strong notice as well and I’m eager to see his interplay with the Rogen/Bryne pairing.

Hit the jump to check out the new Neighbors images, and click here to read Perri’s review.  The film also stars Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jake Johnson, Ike Barinholtz, and Lisa KudrowNeighbors opens in theaters on May 9th.

Nicholas Stoller Talks Seth Rogen/Kevin Hart 1940s Cop Comedy BLACK AND WHITE; Hopes to Make It His Next Film

by     Posted 152 days ago

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Filmmaker Nicholas Stoller set an incredibly high bar for himself by knocking it out of the park with his directorial debut feature Forgetting Sarah Marshall.  The 2008 comedy offered a fantastic blend of incredibly funny, R-rated comedy and serious heart, refusing to shy away from that emotional aspects of Jason Segel’s lead character, which made the story that much more affecting—and funny.  He followed that up with 2010’s rock star comedy Get Him to the Greek and 2012’s more dramatic The Five-Year Engagement, and in between he also co-wrote the scripts for The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted.  But now for his next directorial effort, Stoller ready to tackle an ambitious period piece.

Steve recently sat down with Stoller to discuss his latest comedy, Neighbors, and during the course of their discussion Stoller talked about what he hopes will be his next project, a 1940s buddy cop comedy tentatively titled Black and White.  He said the film revolves around the first white cop/black cop pairing and describes it as a bit of a Baz Luhrmann world.  Hit the jump for much more.

New NEIGHBORS Clip Featuring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, and Lisa Kudrow

by     Posted 163 days ago

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Universal has released a new Neighbors clip.  Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play a married couple who move next to a noisy fraternity (led by Zac Efron) with their newborn baby.  The clip sees Rogen and Byrne argue with a dean at the college (Lisa Kudrow) about the frat’s behavior.  Neighbors got great reviews out of SXSW, so it’s no surprise that the clip is funny, wringing every last drop out of a riff on headlines.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Dave Franco, and Ike Barinholtz also star in the comedy.  Nicholas Stoller (Get Him to the Greek) directed the May 9 release.  Watch the Neighbors clip after the jump.

Two New Red-Band Trailers for NEIGHBORS Starring Seth Rogen, Rose Bryne, and Zac Efron

by     Posted 165 days ago

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Universal has released two new red-band trailers for Nicholas Stoller‘s upcoming comedy, Neighbors.  The film stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as a married couple who must deal with a fraternity—headed up by Zac Efron—when it moves in next door.  I’ve heard nothing but good things about the movie (click here to read Perri’s review from SXSW), and Universal clearly has a lot of faith in it.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this ended up being the breakout comedy of the summer.  What’s great about these trailers is that even though they’re red-band, there are jokes that are funny even though they’re not R-rated.

Hit the jump to check out the trailers.  The film also stars Jake Johnson, Dave FrancoCarlo GalloLisa Kudrow, and Christopher Mintz-PlasseNeighbors opens May 9th.

Evan Goldberg Talks PREACHER, THE INTERVIEW, and CONSOLE WARS; Explains Why PREACHER Works Better as a TV Series

by     Posted 195 days ago

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Though it was clear from his days on Freaks and Geeks that Seth Rogen was a comedy talent to watch, few could have predicted that he would go on to become one of the most successful comedy writers—and burgeoning directors—working today.  Rogen and his longtime friend Evan Goldberg made their feature screenwriting debut with the 2007 future comedy classic Superbad and followed that up with Pineapple Express in 2008 and The Green Hornet in 2011.  The two made the move to directing to enormous success with last year’s excellent This Is the End, and now they have a number of exciting projects in the works as writers, directors, and producers.

While attending SXSW in support of the Seth Rogen/Zac Efron comedy Neighbors, which he produced, Goldberg took some time to speak with us about a few of his upcoming projects.  He talked about the editing process of his and Rogen’s next directorial effort The Interview, the status of the video game project Console Wars, and also provided some insightful comments on their take on Preacher, which he and Rogen are adapting as an AMC TV series.  You can watch the interview and read his full comments after the jump.

SXSW 2014: NEIGHBORS Review

by     Posted 195 days ago

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Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne versus a horde of out-of-control frat boys with Zac Efron at the helm; who wouldn’t want to see how that battle plays out?  Neighbors is light on character development, ridden with logic issues and doesn’t flow particularly well, but director Nicholas Stoller never loses sight of that chief appeal, resulting in a feature that may not be particularly memorable, but is still a fun watch. Hit the jump for my full review of Neighbors from the SXSW Film Festival.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to Adapt Upcoming Book CONSOLE WARS; Based on Behind-the-Scenes Battle between Nintendo and Sega

by     Posted 209 days ago

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Last year, South Park astutely pointed out (as they usually do) how “wars” between consoles are done for PR rather than the benefit of the actual consumers, so the “battle” between Xbox One and PlayStation 4 was nonsense.  But championing a video game console is nothing new, and it began in earnest back in the 1990s as Sega and Nintendo went head-to-head.  Author Blake Harris has penned a book on the history between the two companies, Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation, and it will be released in August.  Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network) have picked up the movie rights, and have brought on Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to write and direct.

Hit the jump for more.

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON Begins with a Slew of Cameos and the Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing with Will Smith

by     Posted 214 days ago

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Jimmy Fallon engendered a lot of good will during his time hosting Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and it looks like that will carry over to his new gig hosting The Tonight Show.  It feels like a fresh start that has a good chance of luring a younger audience, or at least an audience that will likely tune in to check out clips the following morning.  For example, during last night’s show, Fallon was welcomed by a string of cameos including Robert De Niro, Tina Fey, Seth Rogen, and most notably, Joan Rivers, who was banned by Johnny Carson from The Tonight Show in 1986.  Fallon also had a fun bit where he and Will Smith showed off the Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing.

Hit the jump to check out the videos.  The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon airs weeknights at 11:35pm EST on NBC.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen Will Reunite with Director Jonathan Levine for UNTITLED XMAS COMEDY

by     Posted 222 days ago

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50/50′s director Jonathan Levine and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen will reunite for an Untitled Xmas Comedy.  Sony recently beat out other studios to nab the project, fast tracking it for a production start this summer.  The film finds three childhood best friends reuniting in New York City for their annual tradition of a Christmas Eve excursion.  Gordon-Levitt and Rogen will play two of the best friends, while the third friend has yet to be cast.  Levine also wrote the screenplay for the as-of-yet untitled holiday comedy. (Via THR)

James Franco to Direct Film about the Making of Cult Classic THE ROOM

by     Posted 224 days ago

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At any given time, James Franco is attached to write, direct, produce, star in, and adapt so many different projects that it’s hard to keep track.  However, Franco just set another future project in motion that is particularly intriguing.  Deadline reports that Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Productions has optioned the book and life rights to The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, which is chronicles the making of Tommy Wiseau’s “so-bad-it’s-good” cult classic The Room.  Franco will direct and co-produce the adaptation, and he has also expressed interest in starring in the pic alongside his brother Dave Franco.  Moreover, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are onboard as executive producers.

Hit the jump for more, including the synopsis for the book.

TOP 5: THE LEGO MOVIE, The Science of ROBOCOP, Paul Bettany in THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, PREACHER TV Series, 2014 Super Bowl Movie Spots

by     Posted 224 days ago

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I typically try and use the opening paragraph to talk about something not already covered in the Top 5 list itself. I’m making an exception this week because The LEGO Movie is good enough to warrant it. Writers/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have crafted an outstanding family comedy that’s sharp, funny, and as imaginative as the product it expertly seeks to promote. For all of the laughs it provides (of which there are many), I think its greatest achievement is how precisely it balances the weight of story and self-promotion. Make no mistake, its primary goals are to drive sales and promote the LEGO brand. Lord and Miller’s script is smart enough, though, to achieve these by genuinely capturing the spirit of creativity and inventiveness that makes LEGO so unique. I can only wish that all product placement strategies were this inspired and on point.

Moving on to the list portion of this week’s installment, today’s Top 5 will tackle more things pertaining to The LEGO Movie, the science of RoboCop, Paul Bettany‘s casting in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg bringing Preacher to AMC, and a recap of the movie spots that aired during the trouncing also known as the 2014 Super Bowl. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

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