Rick Alverson’s The Comedy is not a comedy. It is an anti-comedy. A satire of a self-destructive generation gazing on their own broken world. The film opens on a group of people, mostly slightly overweight men, drinking and dancing, spitting beer and stripping nude. This is a commonplace setting for this group of “friends.”
The film stars Tim Heidecker of Tim and Eric fame. Comedy partner Eric Wareheim co-stars, and their presence in the film in one instance is Continue reading The Comedy (2012) Movie Review
Sequels can be many things. They can be good…sometimes. Or they can be superficial rehashes. Or they can be pure nostalgia pieces. Or they can be re-imaginings with topical insertions to try and bring an old property into the present day, where these insertions take the place of original comedy.
Zoolander 2 falls mostly into the latter category. Justin Beiber, Uber, and Susan Boyle are featured in early gags, in moments meant to hook the viewer in. These “topical” moments (Susan Boyle = topical?) feel Continue reading Zoolander 2 (2016) Movie Review
In Hail Caesar!, the latest from the Coen Brothers, Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) is an actor during the Golden Age of Hollywood. He is introduced on-screen in a meta framing—a screening within a screening—portraying a Roman leader in a historical epic a la Spartacus. During filming of this movie, Whitlock is drugged and kidnapped.
Hail Caesar! is the Coen Brothers’ love letter to classical Hollywood cinema. The standard genres of the period are represented: Westerns, historical epics, Broadway musical adaptations, bourgeois romance, etc.
The structural issue of this love letter is that Continue reading Hail Caesar! (2016) Movie Review
In Sisters, the eponymous sisters Maura (Amy Poehler) and Kate (Tina Fey) are misguided and somewhat juvenile. The two travel to their parent’s house in Orlando, which they find sold and emptied. They protest the loss of their childhood home, and ultimately decide to throw one last party in the house in an attempt to return to their glory days.
The film totes the expected cavalcade of SNL alum. At the head are Fey and Poehler, both of whom Continue reading Sisters (2015) Movie Review
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is adapted from the book of the same name, and it is exactly what you think. Jane Austen’s famous characters return to the big screen, only now they aren’t combating class and gender barriers, they are samurai fighting zombies.
The film, understanding that the audience is likely already familiar with the Austen classic, begins with some heavy handed exposition revolving around the nature of the narrative’s zombie outbreak. This opening scene involves an interesting point of view shot that comes from a unique perspective, to say the least. Unfortunately, Continue reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) Movie Review
People, Places, Things opens on a birthday party for two twin girls. The father, Will (Jemaine Clement), searches for his wife Charlie (Stephanie Allynne), only to find her cheating on him with another man. After an awkwardly comical exchange, their relationship ends. A year later, the pair have split custody over the children.
Will is a graphic novelist, an occupation which is revealed through a wonderful panning shot over a series of comics frames depicting a man in Continue reading People, Places, Things (2015) Movie Review
In Crash Test, the comedy special from Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer, a glass bus drives around Los Angeles picking up various comedians to do stand up performances.
After some brief opening bits, Huebel and Scheer throw to the bus’s computer diagnostics system “Busey” (Andy Daly), who runs through to make sure everything is functioning properly. This list of equipment includes Continue reading Crash Test (2015) Comedy Review
Teen Wolf is a comedy starring Michael J. Fox as a teenage boy going through changes, but not the changes you would expect. His ears start to have a point. Hair stems with miraculous speed. His eyes glow red when he’s angry.
It’s hard to ignore the aspects of this film that don’t hold up. These moments have Continue reading Teen Wolf (1985) Movie Review
Kung Fury is a 30 minute, throwback spectacle of an action comedy. It is epic in its absurdity. A Miami cop (David Sandberg), after witnessing the death of his partner, who he claims is like a father to him, becomes a kung-fu master after he is struck by lightning and bitten by a cobra. He then must travel back in time to assassinate Hitler after the Fuhrer guns down the police chief.
Sandberg plays the cop gruff and merciless in the best over-the-top way. He is the ultimate lone wolf, speaking only in gruff whispers. It works perfectly with the parodical nature of the film.
Continue reading [Quickie] See This Movie: Kung Fury (2015)
After two mass murders in frat houses—recounted in an almost imperceptible montage of brutal murders at the hands of a burn victim serial killer and her daughter “Motherface”—there is a third mass murder of a group of frat bros.
Dude Bro Party Massacre III is a take on B-movie slasher flicks of the 1980s. Filmed in “glorious VHS quality,” the film is Continue reading Dude Bro Party Massacre III (2015) Movie Review