Saturday, January 17, 2009

Auteur Watch - Judd Apatow

I was torn between Apatow and Darren Aronofsky, because let's face it. That Wrestler movie's got buzz like no one's business. Well, maybe like Slumdog Millionaire's business, but Mickey Rourke can only be in one. But then we were watching that thing on PBS called Make Me Laugh, and Apatow was in that talking about Steve Martin, and about how much money Apatow's movies have made, so sorry, Aronofsky! The choice is clearly out of my hands.
I'm sorry, Make 'Em Laugh. Close! Oh, Billy Crystal, you're looking so old. But back to Judd Apatow. Like any hot producer/auteur who's had as hot a year like 2008 under their belts, they have to save the A-material for themselves. Not that Drillbit Taylor, Pineapple Express, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall aren't cinema classics, but they're clearly not A-material, which is what Apatow's got lined up directorially speaking for the 2009. His directorial gestation period is a steady two years, with 40 Year Old Virgin in 2005 and Knocked Up in 2007. And for 2009? Funny People with Adam Sandler. Looks like Apatow's no longer content to be the new Sultan of Sophomoric forever. It's time to get into the serious stuff now. Adam Sandler continues his quest for Oscar acting gold playing a comedian with a generic terminal illness. Good! Don't want to make it something people actually get like lung cancer or Bonus Eruptus, because that sure wouldn't be funny. So, this terminally ill comedian reaches out to a protegé, and takes him under his terminally ill wing. They wanted to call it The Rob Schneider Story, but you know how it is. And you know how much clout Rob Schneider has in this bizness, so nix to that.
So that's what we got. We got the potty-screen stuff like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and we got the Oscar contenders like Funny People. And bigger things on the horizon even than that, for Apatow's apparently got the lion's share of the upcoming Ghostbusters sequel/remake. They still can't decide if it's a remake or a sequel. And someone actually had the audacity to say that Harold Ramis is the best Ghostbuster! America likes the brainiacs now? This just can't be. Well, good for you, Apatow. At least you were smart enough not to invest in Lethal Weapon 5. Oh, that's going to be a bloodbath.

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