The Wackness wasn’t Jonathan Levine‘s directorial debut, but it was the first film we saw from him. Following the long-delayed All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Levine wrote and directed the coming-of-age film set in the early ’90s. The Wackness was packed with music of its time, with no shortage of Biggie songs, and lots of old classics, such as Donovan’s “Season of the Witch.” Levine’s love for music, and his knack for using music to tell a story, rang loud and clear in The Wackness.
Over the years he’s continued to use music rather effectively. As famous as some of the songs are in his films, they never distract from the emotional or comedic beats they’re serving. The Wackness, 50/50, Warm Bodies, and the director’s newest film, The Night Before, are packed with great tunes. Levine’s Christmas comedy features plenty of cheerful holiday music, but there are also some modern hits that play a major part in the story. There’s a Miley Cyrus performance, for example, that is more than a cameo.
At the junket for The Night Before — which stars Seth Rogen (Steve Jobs), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/50), and Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) — we decided to discuss with Levine his love for music and why he chose certain songs over the course of his career. Read our Jonathan Levine interview after the jump. Read More »
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It’s safe to say that we all need some laughs, and if this past weekend’s fantastic episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Elizabeth Banks wasn’t enough, this week brings the R-rated holiday comedy The Night Before to help out.
And if the recent red-band trailer didn’t convince you to see what looks like a truly hilarious flick for the holidays, the opening scene from the movie has been released, featuring touching narration by Tracy Morgan, not long after he hosted his own episode of SNL. However, it’s NSFW (due to language, not nudity), so beware of where you are watching it. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, November 11th, 2015 by Angie Han
Christmas means many things to many people. For some, it’s about spending time with loved ones. For others, it’s a joyful celebration of traditions sacred and silly. The holiday can also be a time to reflect on the year that was, if you’re the introspective type, or an enjoy a well deserved break if you’ve been working hard.
For the “ride or die homies” of The Night Before, Christmas is a combination of all of the above — but the way they celebrate it isn’t exactly the stuff of wholesome family classics. Instead, the three best friends (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Anthony Mackie) go out on the town for a wild night powered by staggering amounts of booze and drugs.
Along the way they run into all sorts of bizarre situations made even more bizarre by the effects of all those intoxicants, and encounter all manner of colorful characters including ones played by Michael Shannon and Ilana Glazer. Watch the latest The Night Before red-band trailer after the jump. Read More »
Even though Trainwreck may not be Judd Apatow’s most successful film at the box office, currently sitting with $98 million domestic behind The 40-Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, his collaboration with Amy Schumer has an 86% at Rotten Tomatoes, which his second highest-rated film as director. That kind of reception for an R-rated comedy isn’t easy.
But Apatow had plenty of success on the big screen before now, and it’s Schumer who will benefit most from the success of this hilarious flick. She’s already marching onward and upward by getting her next movie together. Fox is working on an Amy Schumer vacation comedy that may team her up with 50/50 and Warm Bodies director Jonathan Levine. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 by Angie Han
It was a balmy September afternoon when I left my house to visit the Queens, New York set of Jonathan Levine‘s The Night Before, on the second to last day of a 35-day shoot. But when I got there, I was greeted with a scene that looked like Christmas on steroids, replete with colorful lights, harried shoppers, and of course, ugly sweaters.
Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Anthony Mackie were prancing around a fake Manhattan toy store (don’t call it FAO Schwarz), performing Kanye West’s “Runaway” on an enormous Big-style keyboard. If you’ve seen the trailer for the film, you’re likely familiar with the scene, which has already “instant classic” written all over it.
In between takes, Levine, his cast, and more clued us in on their R-rated entry into the Christmas movie canon. Get the full report from our The Night Before set visit after the jump. Read More »
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Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg didn’t quite get a chance to destroy Christmas last year thanks to the messy release of their film The Interview. Not that they’re still thinking about it or anything; it’s just one of the first cards that comes up in The Night Before red-band trailer.
This new Christmas comedy comes from director Jonathan Levine (50/50, The Wackness) and features Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as three friends who are spending their last Christmas together before life takes them all on their own separate paths. Their party night turns crazy thanks to the intersection of drugs and (we’re just guessing based on this trailer) their own anxieties about impending life changes. It’s a very funny trailer, with a church scene featuring Rogen and Jillian Bell scoring the biggest comic hit. Watch below. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015 by Angie Han
Now that Avengers: Age of Ultron has landed safely in theaters, it’s time to look ahead toward Phase Three. One of the biggest developments coming our way is the introduction of a new Spider-Man, who already has a solo film set for 2017. And it seems Marvel and Sony are just about ready to step forward with a new director.
According to a new report, names on the Spider-Man director short list include Jonathan Levine (50/50), Ted Melfi (St. Vincent), Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect), Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite), and John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein (the Vacation rebootquel). Get all the latest on the Spider-Man director after the jump.
UPDATE 6/2/15: From the above list, which originally ran on May 5, Moore and Hess are now out. Levine and Melfi are the favorites, Francis-Daley and Goldstein are still in the mix and Cop Car helmer Jon Watts is now in contention. Read More »
The team from 50/50 is back and X marks the spot. Director Jonathan Levine‘s previous untitled Christmas movie starring Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie is now officially called X-Mas, which is a title Rogen was toying with while on set a few months back.
Not much is known in the way of specifics about the film, but the title was revealed in an image at CinemaCon that featured the three stars in super ugly Christmas sweaters (or, in Rogen’s case, a Hanukkah sweater) posing for a Christmas card like they’re rappers. Read more about Seth Rogen X-Mas below. Read More »
Posted on Monday, April 13th, 2015 by Angie Han
50/50 director Jonathan Levine is going back to the cancer well, this time with Miles Teller. Levine is attached to direct Teller in Home Is Burning, based on Dan Marshall‘s upcoming memoir about returning home to care for his ailing parents. Get all the details on the Miles Teller Home Is Burning project after the jump. Read More »