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Comedy

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    The Proposal's Writer and Director Talk Comedy

    The rom-com seems doomed by studio formulas and misogynistic concepts like Bride Wars, which I refused to go see. Thank God for Judd Apatow and John Hamburg, but still, their bromances are aimed mostly at men. So when a fresh chick flick comes along that isn't a dumbed down vehicle for Kate Hudson, I cheer. Written on spec over several years by production exec-turned-scripter Peter Chiarelli and directed by choreographer-turned-helmer Anne Fletcher (Step Up, 27 Dresses), The Proposal stars Sandra Bullock, who pokes fun at her age and credibly falls for a younger man without turning shrill and brittle. Her chemistry with Reynolds, who she's k...

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    The Hangover Beats Up, Universal Loses on Land of Lost

    Americans who are cinching their belts and making do with less flocked to cinemas over the weekend to watch a group of grown men exercising no restraint whatsoever. The Hangover was the perfect antidote to a nation on a fiscal diet.

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    Summer Movies: Drag Me to Hell, Away We Go

    Every once in a while I am reminded that my taste is not the same as the mass audience. I can usually call a blockbuster like 300 or Star Trek--in other words, I ignore the tracking and opening weekend predictions to insist--THIS MOVIE IS SO GOOD IT WILL DO BUSINESS. Sometimes, thank God, word-of-mo...

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    Trailer Watch: Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno

    Universal has posted a red band trailer for Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno on MySpace.

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    ShoWest: Bullock vs. Reynolds in The Proposal

    I'm a sucker for a good rom-com. Disney screened The Proposal, the latest rom-com from director Anne Fletcher (27 Dresses). From column A comes the uptight urban workaholic nightmare boss (Sandra Bullock) who is thrown into column B, a rural fish-out-of-water situation with the endearing family of her handsome, ambitious, super-competent assistant (Ryan Reynolds). Think Sweet Home Alabama meets the old Bullock/Bill Paxton Pullman chestnut While You Were Sleeping. In other words, we find out how sensitive the bitch boss really is (she lost her family years ago) while she falls in love with her assistant--and vice versa--and his family. It work...

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    SXSW: Hill and Rogen Talk Observe and Report

    Monday morning I interviewed Observe and Report writer-director Jody Hill (The Foot Fist Way) and star Seth Rogen. The movie played well on Monday night at the Paramount. It's a very dark reality-based comedy about fantasy and self-delusion, basically. The flipcam interview is broken into two parts:

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    Hail Fredonia! Hollywood Depression Economics

    "We're in the money," sang Ginger Rogers in the escapist musical Gold Diggers of 1933. Luxurious Busby Berkeley musical comedies were big hits during the Depression.

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    Comic-Con: Comedies Pineapple Express, Tropic Thunder and the City of Ember Train

    I saw three summer comedies in a row this week, two from the Judd Apatow factory, Step Brothers and Pineapple Express, plus Ben Stiller's Tropic Thunder, which screened at Comic-Con last night (Pineapple Express screens here too). UPDATE: Here's Todd McCarthy's Tropic Thunder review.

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    Summer Begins: Iron Man, Speed Racer, and Superheroes

    Let the summer games begin. The LAT's Ken Turan takes on summer blockbuster syndrome, while The Huffington Post addresses summer superheroes.

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    Leatherheads: Clooney Goes Retro

    George Clooney is the sort of movie star who gets to do what he wants, especially if he's willing to direct himself. In this case the period football comedy Leatherheads had been languishing on the shelf at Universal for decades, and was going to be directed by Steven Soderbergh at one time. Clooney...

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