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Judd Apatow

Funny But Familiar Trip to Frat House in ‘Neighbors’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – I have a high tolerance for Seth Rogen, but he begins to show some signs of creative exhaustion in “Neighbors,” a raunchy frat house comedy that’s never quite as funny as it should be. Rogen’s onscreen persona here comes dangerously close to schtick.

Cussing Doesn’t Spell Out Comedy in ‘Bad Words’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – In his directorial debut “Bad Words”, Jason Bateman plays Guy Trilby, a foulmouthed 40 year old man who aggressively competes in local youth spelling bees. The children are confused, and their parents are furious. However, the isolated Guy has no fear, with all of the rule loopholes in his back pocket (specifically that he never graduated eighth grade).

Judd Apatow’s ‘This is 40’ Clutters Truth with Cliché

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Judd Apatow’s “This is 40” is a true disappointment, a comedy that purports to say something honest and insightful about approaching middle age in the ‘10s but blurs truth by smothering it in contrivance and cliché. Strong work from Leslie Mann and Albert Brooks rescue the project from complete disaster but the largely-unfunny and almost entirely disingenuous script mark this as the talented Apatow’s most notable misfire.

Middling ‘Mansome’ Suffers From Skin-Deep Insight

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Morgan Spurlock is an awfully likable guy. I’ll never forget the day when he held a special screening of “Super Size Me” for an auditorium full of college kids. After participating in an extended Q & A, Spurlock spoke with every single student that wanted to shake his hand and pose for a picture. When the building finally had to close up for the night, the Spurlock love fest spilled out onto the sidewalk.

Darkly Comic Jason Segel in ‘The Five-Year Engagement’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – There are some major laughs in “The Five-Year Engagement,” good old fashion you-can’t-breathe laughs. But it is also dark and serious at times, and makes some surprising contemporary statements regarding coupling. Jason Segel and Emily Blunt portray the engaged couple.

Kevin James in ‘Zookeeper’ is Zany Family Fun

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Not being familiar with the Kevin James filmography really helped in assessing his latest, “Zookeeper.” His appeal is very evident, and the filmmakers do some funny bits with the old “talking animal” routine.

Russell Brand, Jonah Hill Rock in Very Funny ‘Get Him to the Greek’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Taking a character who was created as an obnoxious supporting one and giving him his own spin-off movie sounds like a recipe for disaster. Despite generally liking its stars and enjoying “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” I was dreading the quasi-sequel “Get Him to the Greek”. There were just too many screenwriting pitfalls in which the film could have and should have fallen in.

Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen Star in Ambitious But Flawed ‘Funny People’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Judd Apatow’s “Funny People,” starring Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, and Leslie Mann, is like watching a friend try out a new stand-up routine. As with a lot of attempts at trying something untested, it doesn’t quite work out, but you have to admire the effort, if not the execution.

God’s Vajoojoo Tastes Like Semi-Glorious ‘Pineapple Express’ in Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen Stoner Film

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – If god had a vajoojoo, Judd Apatow and company think it’d taste something like smoking “Pineapple Express”. There’s no question “Pineapple Express” is ultimately a stoner film, but is it the ultimate stoner film of our decade?

Always the most difficult proposition in a comedy is maintaining its comedic pacing with consistency.

Adam Sandler is White Ladies Man in Judd Apatow’s ‘You Don’t Mess With the Zohan’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – In the relatively anemic anthology of recent Adam Sandler flops, “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan” hangs above with comedic charm and a nonsensically amusing plotline. The story is divisively intermingled with racial and ethnic sensitivities between the Israelis and Palestinians.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Megan Fox

    CHICAGO - Look past the cheesy carbs and b-boy poses, this shiny mo-cap reboot of cartoon juggernaut “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” offers slick entertainment that makes for a welcome surprise for middle school fare. Proving that executive producer Michael Bay has both grown up but it still frightfully in tune with what jazzes teens, this surprise box office hit is indeed a nice slice of a blockbuster spectacle, whether or not a viewer cares about the turtles or not.

  • HoliDaze Front

    CHICAGO – Need a break from the noise of the holidays? Step Up Productions, – in residence at Chicago Dramatists Theater – present “HoliDaze,” a collection of six one-act plays, all dealing with the nature and nurture of the season. The showcase runs through December 21st, 2014.

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