random reviews, recollections & reminiscings

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

DVD REVIEW: Open Range (2003) ****

open_range






R for violence.
2 hrs. 18 min.


written by: Craig Storper (screenplay) & Laruan Paine (novel, The Open Range Men)
produced by: Kevin Costner, Jake Eberts & David Valdes
directed by: Kevin Costner




I like it when I find myself sitting in a movie theater watching a film and actually realize that I'm really enjoying the experience. That was the case on a one hot summer day in August back in 2003, when I watched this movie. I remember sitting there thinking how I'd love to get away and live off the vast open plains as I maintained and defended what was mine. I also remember thinking about how this film would be received. I knew that most people already loathed Costner for movies like "Waterworld" and "The Postman" yet I remained optimistic about his work. There are, after all, worse actors out there. He's worked on enough movies that have succeeded to warrant my attention and this film was no different.

Turns out, Costner's return to the western genre wearing both acting and directing hats once again was actually a success. Many were surprised. Most critics really enjoyed his expansive tale of nomadic cattlemen making a living on the open range who take a stand against a corrupt landowner. Some say that it was an "older audience" that made the film into an unlikely hit, as audiences saddled up and headed to the cinema to the tune of $58 mil, doubling the picture's minimal budget of $26 mil. I saw many factors that contributed to this western being a modern-day masterpiece but I'll get into all of that later. There, I said the "m" word for a Kevin Costner movie. Go ahead and hang me



Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall in Touchstone's Open Range


Charley Waite (Kevin Costner) is a quiet and somewhat mysterious cattleman who has ridden with Boss Spearman (Robert Duvall) as his right-hand man for many years. Boss is a straightforward, kind man who serves as an unspoken mentor to Charley, who we come to find out is haunted by his time as a gunslinger and before that, a Civil War soldier. The two mind their own business, making their living as free-range cattlemen, moving their herd across the open range. They've recently taken on some hired hands to manage their load, the gentle giant Mose (Abraham Benrubi) and the orphan Button (Diego Luna) and together with their dog Tig, they make their way cross-country.

With supplies a lil low, they send Mose to the local town of Baxter on an errand, but are worried when he doesn't return. The town is controlled by a greedy and corrupt land baron, Denton Baxter (Michael Gambon), who hates free-rangers. Charley and Boss arrive in town only to find Mose severely beaten by Baxter's men and jailed by Sheriff Poole, whom Baxter "owns." It is soon revealed that many townspeople look past Baxter's greedy dealings and accept the situation, while others secretly harbor animosity and anger towards him.


Mose needs a doctor right away, so they find one after receiving a stern warning from Baxter regarding their free-ranging. The two of them find Doc Barlow (Dean McDermott), while Charley finds a love interest in the doc's sister, Sue Barlow (Annette Bening). Although at first he mistakens her for the doc's wife which results in some humorous interplay between Bening and Costner. Baxter allowed the group to leave once, he doesn't intend on leaving the matter settled - joined with marshal Poole (James Russo), the two round up a group to finish off Boss and his men. After all, what he really wants is their herd. Boss and Charley are able to subdue some of the men but things don't go as planned after a death and a severe injury. The two face a difficult decision and eventually decide to go back into the town to seek medical help for Button and try to plan their next move.



Annette Bening in Touchstone's Open Range


Knowing that the inevitable showdown with Baxter and his men is looming, Charley and Boss gather themselves for the violent encounter. Leaving Button in the doctor's care, they enter town where during a flash flood consumes them and everyone around. Charley saves a townsperson's dog and the owner buys him and Boss some coffee. They learn more about the mixed feelings of the inhabitants of the town and who might possibly be able to help them. One of those fellas is a bearded old, hobble-legged coot named Percy (played by the late, great Michael Jeter) who runs a stable in town. He's an actor I've enjoyed since "The Fisher King" and I really liked him channeling the classic supporting actor role often seen in older westerns.


Before the final shootout, Boss and Charley go to a drugstore to spend their money on cigars and chocolate, reasoning that they might be unable to spend it later. Charley leaves money with a sympathetic townsperson to buy Sue a new tea set if he is killed. The showdown itself is an amazing cacophony of jarring gunfire with realistic ramifications. There's no crazy stunts or special effects here. With every shot fired you feel the pull-back and the smell of gunsmoke. It's a violent ballet of revenge and justice. most of the townspeople flee but the rest eventually chip in and help out Charley and Boss seeing it as their opportunity to finally stand up for what's right. After all the bloodshed, there's no rousing celebration just the dead and survivors left with decisions to either move on or rebuild.


This realism is not uncommon for modern-day westerns such as Eastwood's "Unforgiven" and the recent "Seraphim Falls", that have a morality tale to tell but spends little time romanticizing that tale. So, for those who relegate westerns to sprawling yarns where everyone looks nice, has poor aim and Indians are always the enemy....there have been and still are westerns with realism and purpose. The violence in this film is a depiction of how violent the west was. In the Old West, it wouldn't be an uncommon sight for someone to be walking down main street and BLAM! he's shot in the back or in the head and slumped to the dirt. The film doesn't just show violence for violence sake, it just shows how it would all go down in those adrenalized moments.


Costner and Duvall not only provide great work here, they were great together. Right away, I was interested in these characters and their interaction. Earlier when I hinted at the many factors that contribute to this being a masterpiece....Robert Duvall, so no more. The guy is just amazing. Anything he's in, I'll see it (even when he's Will Ferrell's soccer coach dad) and enjoy it, just cuz it's him. Here, he gives a decency and vulnerability to a character that has learned much from life. He wants to mind his own business and handle his herd but he will fight for what is his. I'll never know why he didn't get nominated for this. Probably cuz people saw Costner was attached and rolled their eyes and that's too bad cuz this is not a Costner film. Duvall owns this film in his most humble manner.


The story was adapted from a novel and doesn't really bring anything terribly new to the table in terms of the genre, although I've read reviews that it's actually better than the novel. As rare as that is, it's not too hard to imagine seeing as how much love Costner has for the genre. The writers provided subtle layers to characters and wind up turning a basic revenge tale into an intense and compelling picture. Many complained about the length of the film, something I initially did not notice. It's a minor issue to me, I've spent the same amount of time watching movies that were much worse. Because of James Muro's stunning cinematography, excellent production and costume design, the film is an example of a picture that appears to have cost twice as much as it did. The late Michael Kamen's score is also very enjoyable. The cast is fantastic together and the movie somehow takes a great deal of the old cliches from the genre and make it all wonderfully entertaining.




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Special Features:



Commentary by director/star Kevin Costner provides an intelligent, enjoyable commentary for the entire film. Costner is enthusiastic and insightful with his discussion, really going through many aspects of the production process, from the difficulty of financing to trying to maintain accuracy down to small details that are not called attention to otherwise in the film. Difficult enough working on a small budget, Costner also filmed in remote locations in Alberta, Canada that were difficult to get to. He also talks about casting, themes in the film and technical issues such as production design, location shooting and cinematography.

Beyond Open Range: This is a great documentary, a lil over an hour narrated by Costner that focuses on the struggles of making this film. Costner is exceptionally honest about problems with the financing and working with people whose money may not be secure. There's no distributor in place when things begin and Costner talks frankly about the weight he feels of the kind of gamble he's taken. The first struggle is finding locations, which required going up in a helicopter over rugged landscape that was snow-covered and not supposed to be. Costner takes the viewer through the visualization process, as he shows a rather puzzled-looking Annette Bening around a miniature version of the film's town.

The documentary allows the viewer access to many of the behind-the-scenes events and discussions, such as location scouting, production meetings and building. We learn exactly what things cost and who on the crew is responsible for what aspect of the production. There are also some interesting views of some of the main scenes, such as how the crew managed to build the flood - with 32,000 gallons of water per minute flooding through the scene through an amazing system. Watching the documentary gave me a new level of respect for Costner, who displays an extraordinary degree of passion in both the documentary and his discussion in the narration. We see him trying to rally the crew, acting out scenes and in the midst of the cold, rough conditions with the rest of the crew....even working through what became severe appendix problems.


Occasional interviews are edited in during this documentary but largely, this is simply a beautifully filmed, very well-edited piece that is one of the better DVD "making of" documentaries out there.


There's also a get a documentary on the storyboarding process, complete with storyboard-to-scene comparisons and some discussions about visual effects work, as well as 30 minutes worth of deleted scenes, with on-screen intros from Costner optionally edited into the reel of footage (just the footage runs about 24 minutes. Concluding the features is a 12-minute documentary about the history of the Open Range, narrated by Costner and music video.







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The Skinny:



  • The background of the movie concerns the "range wars" that occurred in the American West in the late 1800s. The "wars" pitted those that believed in the "Law of the Open Range" - free access to water and grass for everyone, against the "barbed wire" men - land barons, who used the new fencing to define their empire and block the free-range cattlemen from moving their herds.
  • Producers Costner & Eberts and 'David Valdes' put up almost half of the budget from their own money.
  • Based upon the novel "The Open Range Men" by Lauran Paine
  • Tig was not only the name of the dog in the movie, but also the name of the film's production company. Tig was also the name of Kevin Costner’s Grandmother.
  • Kevin Costner turned down Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) to do this movie
  • When we first see Denton Baxter in the sheriff's office, there is a wanted poster over his left shoulder with the name of Lloyd Buckley. Gae S. Buckley is the production designer for this film.
  • Costner spent most of time filming this movie with a burst appendix.
  • Late composer Michael Kamen replaced a score by Basil Poledouris.
  • The rifle that Charley uses in the shootout is an 1873 Winchester sporting rifle.
  • Originally the studio had Costner top-billed over Duvall, but Costner asked the studio to top-bill Duvall instead.



Interview from comingsoon.net with Costner



Sunday, October 14, 2007

REEL REVIEW: Cactus Flower (1969) ***


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rated PG
1 hr. 44 min.

written by: I. A L Diamond, Abe Burrows (play "Cactus Flower"), Pierre Barillet & Jean-Pierre Gredy (play "Fleur de Cactus")
produced by: Mike Frankovich
directed by: Gene Saks


I happened upon this one the other night on television and was pleasantly surprised. I was fooling around with the free movies on my cable's free On Demand feature. I don't really go there that much for movies but on this particular Friday night, the selections were pretty dry. Not as dry as a cactus mind you (heh, sorry). Well, I saw that it was released in 1969 and it had Walter Matthew, an actor I just love and who's filmography I've been meaning to bone up on. I knew nothing about the film. The Turner Classic Movies guy came on before the film started and said something about how this was Goldie Hawn's debut feature film. Hmph. I hoped that her performance here was better than the majority of her work in the last coupla decades. I would see something fresh from her. I didn't even know about Ingrid Bergman was in it until I saw her name as the movie began. So, I was intrigued by this late night find from the start and found myself solidly entertained by this silly, well-written comedy.

Julian Winston (Matthau), is an easy-going, middle-aged bachelor dentist whose delicately balanced scheme crumbles under some unexpected circumstances. He's stringing along his dizzy blonde mistress, Toni Simmons (Hawn), by telling her he has a wife and children. When he learns that Toni has tried to commit suicide over him, however, he promises to marry her. Of course, he thinks that will resolve everything but it just snowballs more unforeseen drama, in typical fashion. Refusing to be a home-wrecker, toni is distraught and insists on meeting Winston's wife. He convinces his loyal and lovelorn nurse Stephanie Dickinson (Bergman) to help him get outta this dilemma by posing as his wife.

Stephanie refuses at first but once she follows through we not only see hilarity but also her character revealed. There plenty of typical twists, surprises and confusion for these three but it's Bergman who really carries the film. On Stephanie's unplanned journey out of her no-nonsense cocoon, Bergman simply glows with sweetness and confidence. At first, it seemed so odd seeing her in a late 1960's New York romp with Hawn and Matthau but then again I respected her all the more for it. It's clear that she is enjoying herself immensely, and it's infectious: as a viewer, it's impossible not to get drawn into the cheerful pandemonium of the movie. I regret to admit that his is only the second film I have seen Bergman in (I know. I know), the first being "Casablanca". Bergman is the type of actress who just got better as she aged. Not only is she beautiful but her talented range is apparent in the sheer variety of roles she took. I'm definitely going to work my through her filmography as well.
There are, of course, some other character s that get caught up in Julian's lies. He tries to hook Stephanie up with a boyfriend, using his actor-neighbor Harvey (Jack Weston) who is not just her total opposite but a buffoon. The other innocent bystanders is Toni's next-door neighbor, Igor Sullivan (Rick Lenz) a frustrated playwright and the only man closer to her age. Lenz is the other absolute joy to watch in this film. I never even heard of the guy and there he was with a delightful character. Looks like he did mostly television work after this which is too bad cuz he scenes really enliven the movie.




The film exudes a cheerful energy that might now be conceived as cornball but when you take it for the time it was made in, it's all for fun. It's evident that everybody (particularly Bergman) was having a good time making the film and that's always good to see. Nothing worse than seeing actors work in a movie where it look like just took a check. I found the film genuinely engaging from the very beginning where Toni is about to kill herself in her apartment to the setting up of a situation that we can't help but be interested in.
One gripe I have and it's something I absolutely detest of older movies is how the opening credits roll through everyone who worked on the film as the film has started. Nowadays, this is all done after the film and rightly so. Studios and directors have learned that it's distracted to the story and just plain off-putting. But that's really a minor gripe. Turns out I was right, the film was adapted from a Broadway production of the same name that starred Lauren Bacall as Stephanie. That play was actually inspired from the French play Fluer de Cactus. The film adaptation doesn't really lose the feeling that it could be a play, it has a low-key theatrical feeling to it that caters to the actors.




How was Hawn in her debut role? She was great! That's surprising to me cuz she generally annoys me. But here she makes Toni Simmons into a real person: perky, wide-eyed, innocent, and enthusiastic as a puppy, she brings an unassuming energy into all of her scenes. I couldn't believe that Hawn actually won a Best Supporting Oscar for the role! Wow. That shocked me even more than the film cuz it was equally Bergman who makes the movie. Most of Hawn's films from the 80's and on have come across to me as rather repetitious and somewhat annoying to me but it was great to see her fresh debut here.
The movie does sneak in a look at society's expectations of relationships. While it might have been something new to touch on May-December romances back in the late 60's, it seems kinda old news now. Still, it shows that the film is taking a modern outlook as it looks at and why it is usually acceptable for an older man to have a barely-21-year-old lover, but disgusting for an older woman to contemplate an affair with a younger man. Other terms like "old maid" and "eligible bachelor" are thrown around as well when we see Bergman caught in such stereotypical labeling. But a lesser actress delivering such pointed lines of social commentary surely would not have had the presence Bergman has as she gives substance and believability to a story's message. Like Bergman, the film has aged very well and I found it to be an enjoyable, funny, energetic, and well-made comedy.
A 1970 TV Spot for "Cactus Flower" is a
far cry from all they give away now.



The Skinny:
  • The film was the seventh highest grossing film of 1970.
  • The namesake of the film is a prickly cactus that Miss Dickinson keeps on her desk at the dentist's office. Similar to Miss Dickinson, the cactus is cold and inhospitable. However, by the end, both the cactus and Miss Dickinson have bloomed.
  • Besides her Oscar win, Hawn also won a Golden Globe and she also received a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress while Bergman was only nominated a Golden Globe for Best Actress.
  • Tuesday Weld turned down the role of Toni Simmons.
  • The three kids seen behind the GTO in the GM 5th Avenue showroom during Matthau and Hawn's NY walkabout are David and Jenny Matthau and I.A.L. Diamond's son Paul.




      Image:Cactus flower dvd cover.jpg



    Tuesday, October 9, 2007

    DVD REVIEW: Knocked Up ***

    Seth Rogen stars in Universal Pictures' Knocked Up




    R for sexual content, drug use and language.
    2 hrs. 9 min.


    written by: Judd Apatow
    produced by: Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson & Clayton Townsend
    directed by: Judd Apatow



    So I finally got around to seeing what is being touted as the best comedy of the year. That's really not saying much just cuz there just aren't many good comedies out there. In fact, there's currently not many good comedies period. Notice how I don't really review too many comedies? That's cuz most of the comedies out there are awful and awfully unfunny. Maybe it's cuz my taste for cinematic humor can range from "Rushmore" to "Hot Fuzz", films that aren't necessarily labeled as straight-up "comedies" but tend to serve my funny bone a lot more the some senseless (and often tasteless) guffaws seen in most comedies. I mean, really....Ben Stiller is fast becoming the Steven Seagal of comedy!

    When a comedy does come around that gets generally good reviews by both critics and average viewers as myself, I usually take note and wait for the film's DVD release. Unless, I'm in a rare mood and getting out with a mess of pals, waiting for the DVD suits me fine what with all the bells and whistles studios cram into their films. That's exactly what happened to this genuinely funny, raunchy yet real look at a freak encounter between a silly shlub of a man and a beautiful babe that (let's face it) could only have happened with a ginormous consumption of booze.

    The hit comedy by director Judd Apatow continues with his streak of re-establishing bawdy, R-rated comedies as viable box office success. I still haven't seen "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and will wait for the DVD release of "Superbad" as well (for the same reasons I waited for this film). Overall, the movie goes a lil overboard with the sexism and lewd commentaries but amid all that sophomoric hilarity, there is hope. That's cuz Apatow is dealing with mature topics like the repercussions of a one night stand as well as the strain of a marriage and raising children. I like that he's not afraid to write about actual life moments while at the same time indulging the rude-minded adolescent in all of us. Speaking of which....



    Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen in
 Universal Pictures' Knocked Up


    Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) is in his mid-20s, slacking his way through life, living with his fellow pothead pals somewhere near Los Angeles. He's jobless, irresponsible, and a sexist slob, who sits around with similar friends as they smoke pot and actually consider trying to find nudity in movies a job. While hanging with his pals at a nightclub one night, he stumbles into a drunken one-night-stand with ambitious entertainment reporter Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl). Of course, much hilarity follows due to the fact that, without the copious amounts of alcohol consumed, these two would likely never have come together, and they certainly would never have had unprotected sex. Ben is now faced with the prospect of being a father and has to figure out how to deal with responsibility not to mention how to stop being a selfish oaf and learn to make room in his life for two other people.

    The two of them try to make a go at making a relationship work. That is, as much as you can after a one night stand which proves very interesting. After all, where do you go after you've gone all the way with someone you don't know? They don't have a whole lotta positive role models or influences to exemplify a working marriage either. Allison lives in the backyard bungalow of her sister Debbie (Leslie Mann) and brother-in-law Pete (Paul Rudd), a battling couple in their 30's with two adorably cute lil girls. As much time is spent on these two and their dysfunctional communication (or lack of) as the two main characters, which I believe actually helped the movie. Their story is almost equal to the main plot in humor and importance cuz it's their often bickering lives that Allison and Ben look at and wonder if that's where they'll wind up in two years. Without them as a does of hard reality, I don't think the weight of the film's theme would not be as clearly felt.



    Iris Apatow , Maude Apatow , Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd in Universal Pictures' Knocked Up

    Not to mention that these actors together adds up to an unbelievable comedic foursome, grabbing laughs by handfuls and also nailing the right emotional beats to make the film so much more than a standard gross-out post-sex comedy. Of course these four are only the fraction of the comedy equation in this movie. Ben's stoner buddies, all regular Apatow cast members and "Freaks & Geeks" alumni like Jason Segal and Martin Starr, "Undeclared" star Jay Baruchel, and the motormouth of "Superbad'" motormouth Jonah Hill all play the polar opposite to Ben's oncoming life of being a dad. These guys spend all their time coming up with insane bets and inventing asinine theories about getting stoned, getting laid, and basically doing nothing. Once Apatow gets the exchange going between these five friends, the results are funny yes but often shockingly so. Funny for shock sake is alright a coupla times but it crosses the line at times and becomes distracting and insulting after a while.

    This is the first Apatow movie I've seen. I know all his trademarks already from his previous films that I just haven't gotten around to seeing. For some reason I found myself drawn to this one simply by the trailer and the poster. I wanted to see how this poor shlub good get such a hottie and based on the box office success this past summer, so did everyone else. So, it turns out that despite all the neuroses, despite the perverse humor, an Apatow script has a sweetness and real heart that has a draw. Very few other modern comedy directors could pull off the romantic side of Knocked Up, making Ben redeemable and finding a way to bring the main characters together in a way that is believable without pretensions.

    Most reading this have probably seen this in the theater already. Since I did not, I can't really say what more the film's Extended & Unrated Edition DVD is giving viewers. I have no clue. I did notice that the length of the movie is a tad long. I usually don't notice time length when watching a movie but this one did seem to drag here and there. It wasn't annoying it was just....noticeable. Maybe some of the stoner banter coulda been cut and more time spent with Harold Ramis (as Ben's dad) and Joanna Kerns (as Allison's mom), I really enjoyed those characters and found myself wanting more. The theatrical running time was 129 minutes, while the new time is 133, so I guess there's not a large amount added.

    This film was certainly a welcome surprise to me since there's just not many comedies out there that attract me. Sure it's kinda raunchy but it has enough reality and endearing elements to it that made it enjoyable and at times side-splittingly funny. I really enjoyed the main cast quite a bit. I've been a big fan of Leslie Mann's work since "Cable Guy" (which Apatow re-wrote and where he and Mann met) and even "George of the Jungle", so it's always good to see what she does next. I really enjoyed the interaction between Ben and Pete, I felt their friendship evolved quite naturally and real. I guess I could've done with a lil less of Ben's' stoner friends just for the sake of serving the main story better. But that's just a small gripe for a movie that naturally delivers some great laughs while not getting overly sweet with the sentiment.




    The trailer sums up the movie pretty well without giving up too much funny but why do they have to use the overused Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax" and The Traveling Wilbury's "End of the Line"? Get ready to see one of the ugliest babies I've ever seen in the waiting room. EEEEK!






    Special Features:


    Once the movie is done, prepare yourself for hours of extras! This DVD is one of the most overwhelmingly loaded packages I have ever scene. It's just crazy and I didn't even have the 2-disc version which has even more bells and whistles! I'd have to either get paid to watch all the extras or have as much of a non-life as Ben's stoner pals. Immediately after viewing the film, I watched the Gag Reel, which was pretty funny. Then there was this feature called Line O-Rama, which was just various funny lines throughout the movie.

    I listened to a lil bit of the commentary by Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, and Saturday Night Live cast member, Bill Hader, who plays the editor at Alison's job at E! in the film. It's the expected raucous audio track, with lots of funny interspersed with factoids about how the movie was shot and what the goals were. You know, the usual.

    There are many deleted scenes and extended, alternate takes of sequences in the movie. Some of these are hysterical, some are way too lengthy and it became obvious why they were cut. The editing process must have been quite arduous for this film due to all the heavy improv the cast had. A commendable job award goes to editors, Craig Alpert and Brent White, who had to whittle down much longer scenes to their final funny product, keeping the movie moving along at the expense of some very good jokes.

    Kids on the Loose is a feature showcasing the children in the film (played by Apatow and Mann's real kids), reveling in the unpredictability of youngsters set free in front of a camera. It's worth a good funny or two.

    As I mentioned, there are a ton more features but these are all I really had time for. There's just too many to cover.




    Writer/director Judd Apatow on the set of Universal Pictures' Knocked Up



    The Skinny:



    • The film's translation in Russia is "A little bit pregnant"
    • This movie was originally going to be a follow up to The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005), having Rogen and team to reprise their roles as the Smart Tech team.
    • During the credits, when the cast and crew's actual family photos are being shown, Joanna Kerns' photo with her child is the same photo that was used in the opening credits of her sitcom show "Growing Pains" (1985).
    • The following stars have cameos as themselves throughout the movie: Cameo: Steve Carell (as himself at a awards show), Andy Dick (at awards show), Jessica Simpson (at awards show), Jessica Alba (at the award show), Eva Mendes (at awards show), Ryan Seacrest (during a shooting on "E! News" & James Franco (on E! News).
    • Baruchel is terrified of roller-coasters. In the opening sequence where they are at the amusement park he was forced to go on it by Apatow. He only agreed to ride it once, whereas the rest of the cast rode the coaster 7 more times to get all the right takes.
    • Apatow has stated on the DVD commentary numerous times, that the film is loosely based on his and Mann's birth of their first daughter, Maude.
    • Anne Hathaway was originally cast as Alison Scott in the film, but dropped out due to creative reasons. Apatow wrote that "Hathaway dropped out of the film because she didn't want to allow us to use real footage of a woman giving birth to create the illusion that she is giving birth." Jennifer Love Hewitt and Kate Bosworth auditioned for the part after Hathaway dropped out but ended up losing to Heigl.
    • In the film, one of the main characters is employed by a web design agency called Jetset Studios. The name and logo shown belong to a real-life online interactive agency for Apatow Productions. Other product endorsements occurred throughout the film from companies such as Apple, Red Bull, Corona beer, Sierra Nevada beer, Pepsi, Microsoft (Xbox 360),Google and Mr. Skin.
    • Canadian author Rebecca Eckler has written in Maclean's Magazine about the similarities between the movie and her book, Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother-to-Be, which was released in the U.S. in March 2005. She is pursuing legal action against Apatow and Universal Studios on the basis of copyright infringement.In a public statement, Apatow said, "Anyone who reads the book and sees the movie will instantly know that they are two very different stories about a common experience." Another Canadian author, Patricia Pearson, has also publicly claimed similarities between the film and her novel, Playing House. She has declined to sue.
    • The 2007 Teen Choice Awards has awarded Seacrest "Best Hissy Fit", for his brief cameo, where he becomes self-obsessed and complaining about rising young talents.
    • Strange Weirdos: Music From And Inspired By The Film Knocked Up, an original soundtrack album, was composed for the film by folk singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III and Joe Henry. In addition to Wainwright's tracks, there were approximately 40 songs featured in the motion picture that were not included on the official soundtrack on Concord Records.


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