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seth rogen Archives - Funerals & Snakes

Before Midnight poster

Review: Before Midnight, The Lone Ranger, This Is the End, The Internship, Camille Rewinds, The Place Beyond the Pines and Thérèse Desqueyroux

By Cinema and Reviews

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in Before Midnight, 2013.

As is so often the case at this time of year (usually related to 48 Hours commitments) I am a little behind on my reviewing. This weekend I caught up on a lot the actual watching (although apologies to John Davies who sent me a screener of Remembrance that I haven’t yet sat down and watched) so now I will try and rustle up another one of my trademark collections of “Capsule Reviews of Questionable Utility”.

Before Midnight posterOf all the movies I’ve seen so far this year, Linklater, Delpy and Hawke’s Before Midnight (after three movies I think it’s fair to credit authorship severally) is the one that has stuck in my brain the longest. In it, we catch up with the lovers from Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004) as they reach the end of an idyllic vacation in Greece. Hawke’s Jesse is wondering whether he should try and spend more time with his teenage son who lives with his mother in the States. Delpy’s Celine is about to start a dream job back in Paris where they currently reside with their two adorable daughters.

They are at a crossroads but, as the film makes clear, when are we ever not? Delpy is magnificent, creating a wondrous, beautiful, insecure, infuriating and righteous woman who is simultaneously proud and frustrated at the role she has found herself playing. Watching her I was thinking about a couple of relationships of mine that I ended. Maybe I was a little bit hasty. Maybe I wasn’t really listening.

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Cinematica 4/11: Entitled Hollywood Idlers Propose Dubious Theology for Laffs

By Audio and Cinema

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The New Zealand International Film Festival was launched in Auckland and Dan was there. Back at the multiplex, Seth Rogen, James Franco and Jay Baruchel play themselves at the end of the world in This Is the End. Viggo Mortensen shows off his Spanish in Everybody has a Plan and James Cromwell has a plan for a house in Canadian drama Still Mine.

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Cinematica 3/21: Cinematic Geographic

By Audio and Cinema
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This week, the team are joined by Mike Dickison (@adzebill) to review Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand in The Guilt Trip, the latest incarnation of Dickens’ Great Expectations and Ron Fricke’s epic travelogue Samsara.

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Review: The Campaign and Take This Waltz

By Cinema and Reviews

The Campaign posterIt’s American election year and those mealy-mouthed Hollywood liberals have fired the first shot in their attempt to influence the result. In The Campaign, Will Ferrell plays Will Ferrell playing a four-term US congressman from a district so safe district no one will run against him. The mysterious Moch brothers — John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd — are billionaire industrialists (loosely and lazily based on the nefarious real-life Koch Brothers) who decide to bankroll another candidate, one who will be more easily influenced by their money and power. It’s hard to imagine anyone more easily bought than Ferrell’s Cam Brady but evidently it’s time for a change and they place their bets on lovable local tourism boss Zach Galifianakis, playing another of his trademarked limp-wristed-but-heterosexual naifs.

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Review: Paul

By Cinema and Reviews

Paul posterOnly one film for review this week: Paul is the third feature to be written by and star Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, responsible for two of my favourite films of the last decade, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. This time around they’re not joined by director Edgar Wright (busy with his own Scott Pilgrim picture from last year) and the flick is directed by Greg Mottola (Superbad).

Pegg and Frost play Graeme Willy and Clive Gollings, two very English sci-fi and comic book fans on a dream holiday: Comic-Con in San Diego then rent an RV and drive to the most famous UFO sites in the States (Area 51, Roswell New Mexico, etc.) While nerding it happily around the place they witness a car crash and discover the only survivor is a three foot tall alien (big head, big eyes) named Paul. He’s a wise-cracking smart-ass with the entirely appropriate voice of Seth Rogen and he’s been enjoying the hospitality of the US government for fifty years until they finally decide to cut him up to see how his brain works. So he escapes.

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Review: Black Swan, The King’s Speech, The Fighter, Desert Flower, Unstoppable, Burlesque, Little Fockers, Green Hornet and The Hopes and Dreams of Gazza Snell

By Cinema and Reviews

Following up on the 2009 surprise hit The Wrestler, Darren Aronofsky has offered us another film about people who destroy themselves for our entertainment — this time in the rarefied world of ballet. Tiny Natalie Portman is plucked from the chorus of the fictional but prestigious New York City Ballet for the dream role of the Swan in a hot new production. It’s the chance of a lifetime but her fragile psychology shows through in her performance even though her dancing is technically perfect. Maestro Vincent Cassel tries to reconstruct her — as you would a first year drama school student — while domineering stage mother Barbara Hershey is pushing back in the other direction. Something has to break and it does.

Black Swan is exceptionally well made, beautiful and challenging to watch — and Portman’s performance is nothing short of amazing — but films that aspire to greatness need to be about something more than, you know, what they’re about and once I’d decoded was going on I couldn’t see enough under the surface to justify the hype.

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