With the success of films like “Knocked Up” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” the R-rated comedy has entered its heyday. Seth Rogen is back with a twisted tale about a bipolar mall cop — watch out Paul Blart. Jack Black and Michael Cera team up to tell some fractured versions of Biblical stories. Bradley Cooper tries to break out of the supporting man role with a film that just might be this summer’s dark horse. And Zach Efron and William H. Macy try their hand at trying to make this spring’s audiences laugh out loud.
Starring: Jack Black, Michael Cera, Oliver Platt, David Cross, Hank Azaria Director: Harold Ramis Story: In this comedy, Zed (Black) and Oh (Cera) are two men who travel through the stories from the early part of the Bible. Along the way they encounter Abraham and Isaac (Hank Azaria and Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Cain and Abel (David Cross and Paul Rudd), and Adam and Eve (Ramis and Rhoda Griffis). Worth seeing? Maybe. Black threw down the gauntlet when he boldly compared the film’s premise to some classic Monty Python. “It's kind of like ‘The Meaning of Life’ or ‘Life of Brian’ — a funny look at biblical tales,” Black told MTV.com. However, one of Ain’t It Cool News’ writers saw an early screening and wrote, “Other than an ending that is unsatisfying and makes little sense to me, the movie's hilarious.” Web site: http://www.yearone-movie.com/Release date: June 19
“Observe and Report”
Starring: Seth Rogen, Anna Faris, Michael Pena, Ray Liotta, Jesse Plemons Director: Jody Hill Story: Rogen plays Ronnie Barnhardt, a bipolar mall security guard who’s out to stop a flasher who’s been terrorizing the mall. Ronnie wants to catch the culprit and also the heart of his dream girl Brandi (Faris), who works the makeup counter. When a real detective (Liotta) is brought in to investigate, Ronnie gets competitive. With the help of his partner (Pena), he’s determined to be the hero. Worth seeing? Yes. The reign of the R-rated comedy and its poster-boy Rogen is sure to continue with this film from director Hill (“The Fist Foot Way” and HBO’s hilarious “Eastbound and Down”). Ain’t It Cool News gave the film an early review, writing, “I liked this movie a great deal but I think a lot of little edits and perhaps ... some re-shoots could put it through the roof as a true cult classic.” Web site: http://observe-and-report.warnerbros.com/ Release date: April 10
Starring: Zac Efron, Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon, Michelle Trachtenberg, Matthew Perry Director: Burr Steers Story: At 37, Mike O’Donnell (Perry) is unhappy. He and his wife (Mann) are separated and he’s living with his best friend (Lennon). His son (Sterling Knight) and daughter (Trachtenberg) are practically strangers to him. But when his wish to become 17 again (and now played by Efron) comes true he has a chance to do it all over again — and attend high school with his own kids. Worth seeing? Unlikely. This looks very “Freaky Friday,” “Big,” “Life Father Like Son,” etc. Undoubtedly, Mike will learn that being a kid isn’t easy and he’ll learn to appreciate the life he walked away from. No offense to screenwriter Jason Filardi (“Bringing Down the House”), but practically anyone reading this could write the script. Steers did direct the interesting comedy “Igby Goes Down.” Web site: http://www.17againmovie.com/ Release date: April 17
“The Hangover” Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Heather Graham, Justin Bartha, Jeffrey Tambor Director: Todd Phillips Story: Two days before his wedding, Doug (Cooper) and his friends (Helms, Galifianakis) head to Vegas for a bachelor party. When they wake up, they can’t remember a thing, but Helms is missing a tooth, there’s a tiger in their hotel suite, and there’s a 6-month-old baby in the closet. Worth seeing? Looks promising. Yes, director Phillips has had his missteps (“School for Scoundrels”), but there’s always a chance this could be as funny as his “Old School.” If it hits, Galifianakis (who’s appeared in everything from “Reno 911” to “Wonder Showzen” to “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!”) looks to be the potential breakout star. According to one Ain’t It Cool News writer, “Galifianakis truly steals this whole ... movie and literally brings you to tears every 5 seconds.” Web site: NA Release date: June 5