Judd Apatow’s This is 40, out this Friday, is — as its ads carefully note — a “sort-of sequel” to his 2007 hit Knocked Up. It doesn’t concern that film’s leading characters; Seth Rogen’s Ben is only mentioned in passing, and Katherine Hiegl’s Alison is absent altogether. Instead, Apatow focuses on supporting couple Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) and their two kids — played by Apatow and Mann’s real-life offspring. The idea of making a spin-off instead of a sequel is a fairly rare one; there are a few examples, like U.S. Marshalls (from The Fugitive), Get Him to the Greek (from Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Beauty Shop (from Barbershop 2) and Puss in Boots (from Shrek 2), but overall, it’s not all that common. Which is funny, because we think it’s a more interesting way to continue a franchise than the standard sequel, so after the jump, we’ve got suggestions for supporting characters we’d like to see bumped up to leads. (Warning: Some spoilers follow.) … Read More
On this day way back in 1974, the House Judiciary Committee passed the first article of impeachment against President Richard M. Nixon. It was the culmination of the formal impeachment hearings against the President which began in May of that year, prompted by the break-in of the DNC headquarters at the Watergate Hotel two summers earlier and the subsequent cover-up (and revelations that the Watergate break-in was part of a pattern of illegal activities and “dirty tricks”). Two more articles of impeachment were approved on July 29 and July 30; Nixon announced his resignation on August 8.
In the years since, this most dramatic of presidencies has prompted (unsurprisingly) a wealth of theatrical and television movies dramatizing the Nixon White House. The trouble, of course, is playing Nixon — or at least playing him credibly. The former president’s verbal and physical tics and eccentricities were parodied so endlessly (and mercilessly) by comedians and impressionists of the era that it’s all but impossible for any actor worth his salt to personify the man without making him into a caricature. But several fine actors have given it a shot; after the jump, we’ll take a look at their performances and rank them from worst to best. … Read More