Let’s just cut to the chase: there’s a bit in this red-band featurette explaining Judd Apatow‘s new film This is 40 where Leslie Mann fondles Megan Fox. That happens at about the 2:45 mark. So just go watch that, and then get back to me. I’ll wait.

OK, so this is a good attempt by Apatow, Mann, and Paul Rudd to ground the film and both put it in the context of Knocked Up (Mann and Rudd reprise their roles from that film) and position the story as a coming of middle-age tale that has something for all of us. In that respect, it does a better job for me than either of the trailers have in the past. The trailers played up a “this is the story of everyone” angle while depicting something that doesn’t look like the lives of many people at all. This plays more like a means to explain specifically who these characters are rather than making them out to be representations of everyone. And in doing so, the actual broad appeal of the material comes across with more clarity.

Check out the footage below, and note that while there’s some relatively adult sex talk and bad language, it really isn’t all that serious, as red-band materials go. Read More »

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When Judd Apatow announced that his fourth feature film, eventually called This Is 40, would star Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann in the same roles they played in Knocked Up, it created more questions than it answered. If this film is set in that universe, would Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl return? What about the rest of Apatow’s players, actors like Jason Segel, Martin Starr and Jay Baruchel? And if they didn’t, would those characters be referenced in the movie?

The answer to most of those questions is “no.” In This is 40, while Segel returns (along with Charlyne Yi), neither character acknowledges their previous relationships to Pete, Debbie and their daughters in Knocked Up. No one else from Knocked Up cameos and outside of one throwaway line of dialogue, the existance of that movie is largely ignored.

In a new interview, Apatow admitted he filmed more references to his previous film, but eventually cut them out. Read his quotes and more after the jump. Read More »

Note: This Is 40 opens everywhere December 21. We saw an early screening made possible by Film Independent at LACMA. 

For 132 minutes, This Is 40 is non-stop Judd Apatow. The jokes; the emotions; his wife; his kids; and maybe a bit too much of the writer/director’s personality. It’s a jackhammer of propulsive character action that shoves everything you need to know in your face every second. Which is both a blessing and a curse.

Almost instantly, the film demands we relate to Pete and Debbie (played by Paul Rudd, and Leslie Mann, married to Apatow in real life), an upper middle-class married couple. They’re each celebrating their 40th birthday in the same week. Apatow doesn’t care about setting these people up; we’re just dropped into their lives as they struggle with the issues that arise when you hit the big four-oh.

Thankfully, Apatow knows how to make us laugh and This Is 40 does that on an almost too-constant basis. There are so many laughs you’ll miss other laughs. Without a strong story to hold to outside of the loose concept of “turning forty,” however, the movie tends to lose its way, then find it, then lose it, then find it again. This happens right up to – and during – the final credits. It’s a mixed bag with lots to like but lots of problems too. Read More »

There are some huge, huge laughs in the new trailer for Judd Apatow‘s “sort of” sequel to Knocked Up, This Is 40. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann return as Pete and Debbie, supporting characters in the 2007 hit, who are struggling with the reality of turning forty. The kids are now older, the relationships more complicated, the drug reactions more serious and the classic blend of heart and humor that made Apatow a comedy brand name seems to be back.

The film is scheduled for release December 21 and with this extended look you’ll finally meet Albert Brooks, Megan Fox, Jason Segel, Melissa McCarthy and several others. It looks really funny. Check it out after the jump. Read More »

With his latest film, Rock of Ages, two weeks away from release, director Adam Shankman has locked in his follow-up project. It’s a comedy called This Is Where I Leave You and will star Jason Bateman, Zac Efron, Goldie Hawn and Leslie Mann as family members who return home to sit shiva for their father. Locked in a house for seven days, they air a lot of dirty laundry. (Figuratively, of course. Though with a big family, over seven days, there’s probably some literal laundry too.) The script is written by Jonathan Tropper based on his own novel of the same name. There’s more after the jump. Read More »

Here’s the trailer for Judd Apatow‘s This is 40, a film that is sort of a sequel to Knocked Up (as the trailer admits) and apparently an articulation of midlife angst from the writer/director/producer.

Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann are a married couple hitting 40, and the looming milestone (does anyone call it “over the hill” any longer?) has Mann’s character feeling a bit sensitive about her life achievements. Which is difficult to really figure out, since she seems to have a good family, a nice house, her health, and so on. But being forty makes her unhappy, and that makes Rudd unhappy, and hopefully it is all funny. See the trailer below. Read More »

For the past several years, Juno Temple has alternated between mainstream projects and indie fare. And though 2012′s shaping up to be her biggest year yet, her basic M.O. is no different. Temple is poised to make her biggest splash yet in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises as Catwoman pal Holly Robinson, but first, she’ll be leading the indie coming-of-age tale Little Birds.

Written and directed by first-time helmer Elgin James, Little Birds revolves around Lily (Temple) and Alison (Kay Panabaker), a pair of teenage best friends stuck in a dreary ghost town on the Salton Sea. When an opportunity arises for the girls to start more exciting lives in Los Angeles, Lily jumps at the chance and Alison tags along for the ride. Before long, however, they find themselves in over their heads as they get increasingly involved in their new friends’ life of petty crime. Leslie Mann, Kate Bosworth, and Kyle Gallner also star. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

Read More »

We’ve already seen a couple trailers for ParaNorman, the new film from Coraline-animating studio Laika, but I’m not going to complain about the release of one more. The film is about a boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who has to use his ability to communicate with the dead to save his town, and this new UK trailer has a few new bits of footage.

Most notably, there is a lot more footage of the big old bum voiced by John Goodman. There are other new bits showing off the characters voiced by actors like Jeff Garlin, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Elaine Stritch, and Tucker Albrizzi, too. Overall, this continues to look like a cute, clever family film that should play well for kids and those who love horror and animation. After all, who can resist Laika’s great stop-motion work? Read More »

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