Tag Archives: judd apatow

Party Down

Party Down is yet another brilliant comedy series you’ve never heard of. It has excellent writing and acting that feels improvisational, like a Christopher Guest film or Curb Your Enthusiasm, even though it’s 90% scripted.1 The comedic setup and payoff is intricate ala Arrested Development. And it has the realistic bittersweetness (more bitter than sweet) of the original (British) The Office.

The cast comes from other cult hits, mostly Veronica Mars and The State, plus a few Judd Apatow and Christopher Guest veterans. Standouts include Jane Lynch (40 Year Old Virgin, Role Models, Best in Show), Ken Marino (The State, Reaper, Veronica Mars), Martin Starr (Freaks and Geeks, Knocked Up, Adventureland), Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls, True Blood) and a slew of guest stars.

It had critical acclaim and a cult following – a cult which I have just joined – and like clockwork it was canceled after just two 10-episode seasons. I guess that’s what happens when you air at 10PM on a Friday night on Starz, when Starz wasn’t known for any original programming.2 As a consolation, you can watch the entire series on Netflix streaming, and I highly recommend you do so. If you’re as excited about the series as I am, when you’re finished watching it you’ll enjoy reading The Complete Oral History of Party Down.

Here’s a trailer to whet your appetite, although it doesn’t quite do the show justice.

  1. They didn’t have the budget to make it improv. []
  2. Fred Savage, one of the regular directors, said they came up with the slogan “Starz. You must might have it.” during filming. And yes, it’s that Fred Savage. Apparently he also directs a number of Sunny episodes. []

Knocked Up (Review)

While Kevin Smith inspired me to pursue filmmaking (albeit lazily and half-heartedly, with slightly less effort than I muster for breathing), I aspire to create movies like Judd Apatow’s. Knocked Up was awesome the whole way through. There are parts where Apatow just machine guns you with jokes, which are hilarious, because he had the balls to make it Rated R. Unsurprisingly, it’s already 163 on the IMDB Top 250. And man, is Katherine Heigl is hot (I call dibs. Sorry.). So if you were thinking of waiting for the DVD, aww, man, so sorry, ’cause you’re totally not doing that. ‘Cause I said so. And you’re welcome.

Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up

Movie News

Some interesting bits from Variety. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry…

New Line’s option to make The Hobbit is close to expiring, so they’re getting ready to make it… without Peter Jackson. This is because he currently has a lawsuit against them for questionable accounting practices regarding the profits from LOTR. Pretty much everyone, including distributor MGM, is completely freaking out about this. As they should be.

We are getting a Get Smart movie, starring Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart, and Anne Hathaway as a totally hot babe also in the film. Carell also stars in Evan Almighty, the sequel to Bruce Almighty.

Brilliant director Robert Altman passed away. Go watch MASH and The Player in tribute. Actually, I think we’re due for a Classic Movie Night featuring McCabe and Mrs. Miller – Ebert’s described it as Altman’s only perfect film, and I must confess I’ve never seen it.

The Weinstein Company, which is basically the new Miramax, even though Miramax still exists, has entered into an exclusive – and hence very stupid – deal with Blockbuster. In other words, if you’re a Netflix subscriber (as well you should be), you won’t be able to watch School for Scoundrels until Blockbuster goes bankrupt. Fortunately, at the rate they’re going, this will happen sometime next Tuesday. Of course, no worries for the Kevin Smith stuff, because you’re just going to buy that, anyway.

Speaking of Kevin Smith, there’s some way cool Clerks 2 swag at JayAndSilentBob.com.

Letters From Iwo Jima, the companion piece to the previously reviewed Flags of Our Fathers, has had its release date pushed up to 12/20, to make it eligible for awards season. I’m wondering if it’s the obviously better film, or having two good films will make it tough for Clint to get enough votes for either one.

Personal hero Judd Apatow is producing The Pineapple Express, an action-comedy starring Freaks and Geeks alumni Seth Rogen (The 40 Year Old Virgin) and James Franco (Spiderman series).

We’re getting Ocean’s Thirteen next year, even though nobody asked for it.

Did you know you can get a listing of most (over 1600) movies based on comic books at the IMDB? It defaults to sort by rating, but you can switch to date. Of course, many listed are still in development (i.e., the screenplay hasn’t even been written), but you can get a feel for what’s coming up.

Arclight Cinemas: Fuck You!

Tonight I had a horrible experience at Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood. A couple weeks ago I purchased 4 tickets to The 40 Year Old Virgin, to be followed by a Q&A with writer/director Judd Apatow (of Freeks & Geeks and Undeclared fame). My confirmation email very clearly states that all I need to do is bring the credit card I used to a box office agent to pick up my tickets. I go to customer service, and they can’t find any reservation connected to my credit card! I only use one card, no exceptions. Nothing connected to my name or phone number, either. Nothing they can do about it, and the show is sold out. Yeah, sold out with 4 empty seats! Bastards! And this is after sitting in traffic for 1.5 hours. I am sure they will not deal with this in any satisfactory way, and try to say it wasn’t their fault, or say, “Oops, sorry about that! Now please hang up, asshole.” I have found their web site to be a flakey piece of shit in the past, but I DEFINITELY got a confirmation this time. I fully admit I should have printed it out as insurance, but it also stated I had no need to do so (and I’ve had no problems in the past). Apologies again to Agents Hulagun and Doubledeuce, whose nights were also ruined.