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April 6: Happy Birthday Paul Rudd and Barry Levinson


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We have a pretty short list of celebrity birthdays today—a fortunate thing since I didn’t have much time to write the article.

Paul Rudd is celebrating his 48th today.  He made his acting debut in a recurring role on NBC’s Sisters and his feature film debut in Clueless.  For the next two decades, Rudd appeared in a variety of major films.  Occasionally he had lead roles, starring opposite Reese Witherspoon in Overnight Delivery, or in Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things.  But more commonly he would be found in supporting roles in films ranging from The Cider House Rules to the Anchorman films.  He had a recurring role on the last two seasons of Friends as Phoebe’s eventual husband, Mike Hannigan.

Rudd has worked frequently with filmmakers David Wain and Judd Apatow.  For the former he has made films like Wet Hot American Summer and Role Models.  Besides the Anchorman films, he has worked with Apatow on The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and This is 40 (in which he starred with Leslie Mann).  His best-known role to many filmgoers, however, is surely as Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, in two installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Movies of 1987 Bracket Game: Lethal Weapon Vs. Good Morning Vietnam


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Today’s match pairs two rising stars against each other at the moments when their careers took shape.  Robin Williams and Mel Gibson were among Hollywood’s most sought-after leading men.  And they can both trace their A-list status back to the movies they headlined in 1987.  Gibson costarred opposite Danny Glover in the buddy-cop movie that defined the genre.  And Williams received his first-ever Oscar nomination for playing a zany army DJ for the Armed Forces Radio Service during the Vietnam Conflict.

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Movies of 1987 Bracket Game: Full Metal Jacket Vs Good Morning Vietnam


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America spent the eighties processing the collective experience of the Vietnam conflict.  As a result, Hollywood spent much of the decade making movies about ‘Nam.  Oliver Stone’s Platoon presented combat from the perspective of the young soldiers while Rambo gave America a cathartic fantasy in which one man could single-handedly win the war.  1987 gave us two significant comedic dramas set in Vietnam; Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket and Barry Levinson’s Good Morning Vietnam.

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