Bleats

Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill And Many Others Owe Their Fame To Judd Apatow's Revenge

Judd Apatow found Seth Rogen and his buddies but pettiness made them into who they are now.

Of the many TV shows that were cancelled too early, Freaks and Geeks is one that hurts the most. Created by Judd Apatow and Paul Feig for NBC, and starring fresh faced unknowns like Seth Rogen, Lina Cardellini, James Franco, and Jason Segel, it was agonisingly cut short after one season of brutally honest yet funny high school shenanigans.

Everyone on that show has since become huge stars in their own right and have been in some massive blockbusters, but the seeds of their eventual rise to fame were all planted early on by Judd.

Not because he likes them or anything (though that is one part of it) but because he was out for pure revenge on NBC.

You want your revenge served cold or freezing?

Speaking at the 2014 PaleyFest, Apatow admitted that everything he’s done in his career was “revenge for the people who canceled Freaks and Geeks.” While this may seem like a bit of a joke, there’s some merit to it.

Judd’s first big hit was 40 Year Old Virgin and he has since parlayed that success into making the careers of his Freaks and Geeks cast. His follow up film to Virgin was Knocked Up, which starred Seth alongside a heap of other Freaks and Geeks cast members and their buddies, and it was an even bigger hit than Virgin.

In fact, all of the films directed by Judd have had at least one Freaks and Geeks cast member in it in some capacity, which is definitely not a coincidence.

…Is it because I like Coldplay?

Beyond his own films, Judd also used his producing power to get films by his Freaks and Geeks cast made that would’ve otherwise been thrown in the trash by other studios.

There was Seth’s Superbad (which starred launched the career of his buddy Jonah Hill) and Pineapple Express (which revitalised James Franco’s career), Jason’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Paul’s Bridesmaids. One gets the feeling that Judd couldn’t care less if all these films flopped, just as long as the NBC suit who cancelled Freaks and Geeks was brought to tears.

Judd ultimately won (and is still winning) his super-petty rampage of revenge because not only did all those aforementioned movies become smash hits but nearly all of his Freaks and Geeks cast are huge stars because of it. Hell, Seth is in The Lion King, Linda is in Dead To Me, and Jonah has two frigging Oscar nominations. That’s some good revenging right there.

So next time you see watch a Seth Rogen or Jonah Hill film, just know that this was all possible because Judd Apatow just wanted to make the NBC executive who cancelled his TV show cry.

Taika Waititi Has Revived Your Favourite Retro Meme And Won The Internet

Pack it up folks, no one is topping Taika Waititi today.

Taika Waititi has pleasantly surprised us time and time again with his many skills and talents. He’s pretty good at the comedy thing, made vampires popular again with What We Do In The Shadows, revitalised the Thor series, and is probably the only person capable of making that long-gestating live-action Akira film adaptation.

And now he’s done it again by bringing back one of the all-time great memes in recent memory: the Downfall meme.

A timeless classic.

Taika has a film called Jojo Rabbit coming out soon and it tells the story of a lonely German boy whose only friend is an imaginary Adolf Hitler, who is played as a bumbling fool by Waititi.

So how exactly would Hitler react to the thought of a Polynesian Jew playing him in a darkly satirical film that basically takes the piss out of everything about him and what he stood for?

Short answer: Not too well.

For those who are unaware of this meme, it comes from the 2004 German film, Downfall, which recounts the last few days of Hitler’s life.

The critically acclaimed film was later enshrined into internet culture in 2006 when some genius uploaded a spoof version of the now-iconic scene of Hitler losing his marbles when being told Germany’s defeat is inevitable. Since then, all corners of the internet have used the meme to parody and/or provide commentary on topical events, entertainment and pop-culture.

Given how quickly meme culture moves these days, it’s actually impressive how long the Downfall meme has stuck around and seeing it being used to plug a satirical film about Hitler feels like it has come full circle.

Seeing how Taika has given the meme renewed spotlight, it makes me think that Jojo Rabbit could well contain a shot-for-shot remake of the meme because, well, why the hell not. We’ll find out soon enough when the film comes out on October 18.

The Bourne Supremacy Ruined Your Favourite Action Movies For At Least A Decade

The Bourne Supremacy is still a great action flick... when you can actually figure out what's going on during said action.

Make no mistake that The Bourne Supremacy is a hell of an entertaining romp and remains so as it turns 15 years old in 2019. But how has it held up as an action movie? Well, the that’s a different matter altogether.

The action scenes in The Bourne Supremacy were gritty, fast-paced and quickly edited, and were considered next-level stuff back in 2004. This technique is colloquially known as “shaky cam” and while director Paul Greengrass didn’t invent it (it’s been around since the 1920s and was popular in the 1960s), he definitely popularised it with Supremacy.

And in doing so, he ruined almost every Hollywood action movie for at least a decade.

Allow me to explain…

There’s no denying that The Bourne Supremacy‘s action scenes were intense as all hell, but there’s also no denying that almost everything is a blurred, motion sickness-inducing mess. There’s no Jackie Chan levels of smoothness in the action, just pure chaos.

Sure there’s a gritty realism to shaky cam, not to mention how the technique works on a storytelling level for the Bourne movies (he’s got amnesia, guys!), but it would also be nice to see a fight or car chase that’s actually, you know, not incoherent.

But that didn’t really matter to audiences at the time as The Bourne Supremacy became a big hit and nearly every action movie subsequently just had to do the shaky cam thing because that’s what people wanted. Apparently.

This popularisation of shaky cam in Hollywood has sadly become part of The Bourne Supremacy‘s legacy. Action-heavy films like the James Bond series, Man of Steel and The Hunger Games all doubled down on the shaky cam style, regardless of whether it aided in the storytelling.

There are practical reasons for why movies adopt this style – usually to hid poor editing or the fact that the actors can’t actually fight for real – but it has become an all-encompassing crutch for most action films to the detriment of the genre.

The worst offender that comes to mind is the first Hunger Games film, which basically used shaky cam for almost every single type of scene, even simple talking scenes.

*grabs vomit bag*

It’s only in recent years that we’re starting to get over the whole shaky cam fad, thanks to films like The Raid Redemption, Mad Max: Fury Road and all three John Wicks, which actually made sure we could clearly see what was going on at all times even during all the madness.

That being said, we’re not out of the woods completely just yet as there are still films that still subscribe to the shaky cam schtick, like most Marvel movies, particularly the Captain America flicks.

The Bourne Supremacy popularised shaky cam, for better or worse, and it’s tough to not hold that against it. But they say you need to take two steps back before taking three forward and it finally seems like Hollywood action scenes are on an upwards trend once again.

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