Director Ruben Fleischer gets guy-humor, dude

Jesse Eisenberg, left, and Aziz Ansari star in “30 Minutes or Less,” which opens on August 12.

As someone who directed last year’s action-comedy “Zombieland” and MTV’s “Rob and Big,” as well as sketches on “Funny Or Die,” it’s safe to say Ruben Fleischer has a handle on dude-humor. This summer will see the release of his second feature film, “30 Minutes or Less,” which stars the ubiquitous Jesse Eisenberg as a hapless pizza delivery boy who gets tasked, against his will, with robbing a bank with a bomb strapped to his body. It’s a comedy, though. Really. Fleischer promises.

“It’s like a broader comedy version of a Coen Brothers movie,” he says. “To me, it’s like a commercial version of ‘Fargo’ — dumb people doing dumb things with bad results.”

Fleischer assembled a group of buzzworthy comedic talents — including “Eastbound and Down” star  Danny McBride, stand-up pro Nick Swardson and Aziz Ansari of “Parks and Recreation” — for the film. The director’s ear for a good laugh may be well-tuned, but he can’t put his finger on why the Apatowian buddy-comedy trend is so hot right now — or how he knows what’s funny at all.

“Aziz is just an inherently funny person, as are Danny and Nick and Woody Harrelson and Bill Murray [who both starred in ‘Zombieland’],” he explains of his stars. “They are funny people, and so I just want to put them in things and watch them be funny.”

But back to Academy Award nominee Jesse Eisenberg, who is already notorious for playing the neurotic nerd, as he did most famously in “The Social Network” last year. Fleischer assures us that we’ll see a different side of the skittish actor in this film.

“That’s one of the things that he and I are most excited about,” Fleischer says. “[Here] he’s much more of a normal, average, everyday dude who has not lived up to his potential. I think it’s a little bit jarring for audiences to see Jesse being an underachiever and someone who is not neurotic. I think audiences will definitely relate to him and see him in a different light.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…