Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Six Pack Of... Our Favorite Seth Rogen Films!

Sarah: Hello readers! As this weekend gets closer we are looking at another Seth Rogen movie hitting the big screen with his new R-rated comedy Neighbors. It's one that we're looking forward to seeing and reviewing, but it also inspired us look back at the movies that he has done in the past and pick our favorites. That's right! It's time for A Six-Pack Of... Our Favorite Seth Rogen Films

SARAH'S PICKS (in ascending order)

3.) Knocked Up

S: My third-favorite Rogen film would have to be his 2007 rom-com, Knocked Up. Starring Rogen and Katherine Heigl, totally raunchy movie about a couple who, after a one-night stand, find themselves preggers seems like it would totally just be a movie about sex and drugs, be turns out to be a really heartwarming flick. For those of you who haven't seen it, Rogen's Ben is a witty slacker who lives in a house filled with a number of other guys played by famous comedians like Jason Segel, Jonah Hill and Jay Baruchel to name a few. This alone could create some hilarious hijinks, but then they throw in Judd Apatow's whole family and Paul Rudd and that just makes it all better. 

Yeah, I suppose Heigl is also kinda funny but….she's really not. All of the funny in this movie happens around her but doesn't necessarily involve her. This is all totally fine with me because I love the way that the supporting cast is just as funny as the main characters. It was a creative look at a different kind of family and definitely one that we own and watch when we're looking for a funny. 

2.) 50/50

S: My second-favorite Rogen film is actually not a comedy. It's the 2011 film 50/50. Starring Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, this movie is actually based on an true story, Seth's story. Well, his best friend's story. It's about a young man named Aaron (Gordon-Levitt) who finds out he has cancer at the young age of 27. And while Seth isn't in this movie a whole lot, his character, Kyle, has some really tough scenes while having to face the fact that his friend may not make it. 

He tries to keep a sunny face on it the whole time which pisses Adam off because he thinks Kyle doesn't care. But then there is a scene - one that Rogen's not even in it - where Adam finds out that Kyle has been reading up on his cancer and anything he can do to make it all easier. It's heartbreaking and touching all at once. What made this movie so special was the fact that Rogen was willing to relive this terrible point in his life so his friend's story could be told. It really shows a different side of Rogen and, I think, made him more of an actor to take seriously. 

3.) Paul 

S: Then we come to my first and favorite Rogen film, Paul. Some people might say that this is more of a Simon Pegg/Nick Frost movie, but I think that it really is a perfect example of Rogen at his best. Rogen's Paul, an alien who has long been a "guest" on planet Earth, is exactly what I like to think Rogen is like in real life. Paul is a rude, vulgar little alien that at the end of the day is just trying to get home. 

The animation and motion capture in this film was really taken to the next level and it really seems like Pegg and Frost are talking to a little green man that just happens to sound exactly like Seth Rogen. You get your Rogen comedy paired with the dry British humor of Frost and Pegg; it's just a winner in any book. And don't forget Jason Bateman, Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio (who I have gained a better appreciation for since watching him on FOXs Brooklyn Nine-Nine)! They are a great addition as the agents hunting down Paul. And what alien movie is complete without a Sigourney Weaver appearance?! It was the perfect touch! There just isn't anything wrong with this movie! OK, that could just be me with my blinders on but I truly think this is a great movie and I love it.

ANDREW'S PICKS (in descending order)

Andrew: Those are all great picks, and it was VERY tough for me the whittle this list down to just three. I have to give honorable mention to Paul, but here are my three favorite Seth Rogen films.

1.) This Is The End 

A: This one might be an "easy" call, and I’ll accept any accusations that it’s this high because it’s his most recent work, but the bottom line is that I thought This Is The End was the funniest movie of 2013 and it's a personal Top 5 from last year, too. I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard in a movie theatre. It’s vulgar yet heart-warming and Rogen leads a fantastic cast that includes James Franco, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill and Jay Baruchel (who co-starred with Rogen in the short Jay and Seth Versus The Apocalypse that This Is The End is based on) all playing fictional versions of themselves.

I also give Rogen tons of credit for co-writing and co-directing the film as this film could've totally gone off the rails, but it's actually rather well-made and handles all the different actors and scenarios, the intimate setting and the grand CGI spectacles very well. The rewatchability of This Is The End is quite high, which also helps it nab my top spot.

2.) Zack and Miri Make a Porno 

A: What is probably my favorite Kevin Smith film, Zack and Miri Make a Porno is another Rogen film that’s buoyed by an all-around strong comedic cast. But it’s Rogen’s chemistry with Elizabeth Banks that really makes this movie work so well. His enthusiasm while trying to making the titular porno and his relationship with his friends make this not only a fun (and crude) comedy but another one that tugs at my heartstrings. I have no idea how Sarah and I don’t own this one yet. That needs to be remedied ASAP. By this point I think it's fair to point out that Seth Rogen pretty much only plays one kind of character, and that's Seth Rogen. He doesn't have a TON of range. So while all these films may seem similar in that regard, I think these films we've chosen are noteworthy because of how he handle's emotional/mature elements along with his stoner-rific persona. He's usually not stretching himself as an actor but he's able to hit a number of different notes, including here in Zack and Miri.

3.) 50/50

A: While not a straight up comedy - it’s more of a drama with some comedic elements - 50/50 takes the third spot on my list even though Rogen’s only a supporting character. Based on the true life story of Rogen’s friend Will Reiser (who wrote the film) and his battle with cancer, Rogen plays the best friend to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Aaron, the film version of Reiser. It’s not a huge part but Rogen plays both the comedic and dramatic parts perfectly for what is needed.

 But more than anything 50/50 is this high up on my list because of the strong cast (JGL, Anna Kendrick, Anjelica Huston, Bryce Dallas Howard) and their ability to convey the trials that a cancer battle bring for not only the afflicted but their friends, family and support staff. It’s very emotional and everyone nails it here. I don’t think this movie gets enough credit, honestly. If you’ve never seen it do yourself a favor and check it out. (Bonus points for Rogen for co-producing it and, like Sarah said, doing a great job conveying what it must’ve been like to actually go through his friend’s battle.)

S: Okay! So there's our Six Pack Of… our favorite Seth Rogen movies! Which of his films do you like best? There's actually quite a lot! We didn't even mention his voice-work in Kung Fu Panda which is a film that holds a special place in my heart.

A: Hit us up in the comments if you'd like and tell us which Seth Rogen films you love best. We'll be seeing Neighbors on Friday night and will hopefully be getting a review up sometime this weekend! So check back for that, and as always, thanks for reading! 

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  1. I really like Seth Rogen. Just his presence, his delivery, his laugh. It's a complete comedic package for me. I'd also throw out Pineapple Express although Franco steals the show there and Observe & Report which might not be the best but Rogen is really damn good and different in it.

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