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Nina – Trailer

Cynthia Mort’s Nina–a movie that revolves famed chanteuse Nina Simone’s often turbulent life–is not the type of movie that is typically of interest to me, though what I find fascinating is why Zoe Saldana was cast in the role–especially considering the brouhaha over Gods Of Egypt and Aloha.

And sure, I get it that Saldana is in the position to get movies made, when another actress, perhaps more closely resembling Simone, might not be able to.

That being said, there are scenes in the trailer were Zoe Saldana is clearly wearing blackface–which is necessary since she’s depicting a woman who’s darker-skinned than she is–which it should go without saying, that a darker-skinned actress wouldn’t have to do.

And of course, the patron saint of Easily Won Causes–except for a few outliers, you could count the famous people openly sympathetic to Bill Cosby one one hand–Judd Apatow has to chime in, though I get the feeling that before this is over he might wish he hadn’t because he’s clearly out of his depth.

Simone

And it has nothing to do with Apatow being a white person, though for someone as sarcastic as his Tweet implies, it might do good for him to cast a few black women as leads in his own movies.

Though I get the feeling that for Judd Apatow, it’s okay to comment on the actions of others, as long as he doesn’t have to live up to the very same ideas he espouses.

‘The Lords of Salem,’ Trailer 2

Let’s be clear:  I don’t think Rob Zombie is a very good director.  In fact, his movies on one level can be seem to be primarily vehicles for employing his wife, Sherri Moon Zombie; which I have nothing against because such nepotism in Hollywood–or anywhere else for that matter–isn’t exactly unusual.

Judd Apatow gives his significant other roles in his movies consistently (his daughters have also boarded the gravy train), as does Stuart Gordon.

The difference is that both Apatow and Gordon can direct, though the whinefest that is “This Is 40”  makes me want to reconsider Apatow.

After Zombie cut his teeth on “The House of 1000 Corpses,” “The Devil’s Rejects,” and two Halloween films he moved on to his latest project, “The Lords of Salem.” (I need to see ‘Rejects.’  That’s supposed to be all sorts of awesome).

The trailer is less any sort of narrative than a bunch of odd, disjointed images linked by the apartment building where the action seems to take place.  If that’s what the director was going for, then perhaps I could see it, but for some reason I doubt it.

‘This is 40’ Review

This Is 40

“”This Is 40” is an oddly self-indulgent movie about people who’s problems have nothing to do with their age.”

There are mild spoilers, so if you have not seen the film, please consider seeing it before reading.

Growing up, my family used to watch shows like “Dynasty,” Falcon’s Crest” and “Flamingo Road;”  stories about very rich people and their foibles.  What I came to understand about such shows was that they taught us that the upper classes–despite their wealth, or perhaps because of it–were oftentimes pretty poor when it came to understanding who they were as human beings.

Oddly enough, I felt the same vibe from Judd Apatow’s “This is 40.”

It’s a strangely self-indulgent film filled with people that face problems that are almost entirely of their own making.  Then, because of the aforementioned problems, they being to whine.

A lot.

And there’s nothing quite so irritating as someone who creates their own problems, then has the audacity to complain; like a child, as opposed to a healthy, functional adult.

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‘Bad Teacher’ Trailer

You have to be careful with movies like “Bad Teacher” because the line between funny and bad taste is a very difficult one to straddle without turning off the causal viewer.  If it doesn’t have  at least a little bit of ‘heart,’ if it can’t manage to make you care at least a little bit about the characters, you end up stuck with a bunch of pathetic, and sometimes mean-spirited, people.

No one knows this better than Judd Apatow, who produced films like “Superbad,” “Knocked Up,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Funny People” (which he also directed).  Time and time again, he’s managed to invest somewhat unlikable characters with a degree of humanity and humor that makes their plight at least interesting, and often very engaging.

“Bad Teacher” looks like a film that he could have done, yet in this case he has nothing to do with, despite starring Jason Siegel, a staple of Judd Apatow’s productions since Freaks & Geeks.

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