Entries Tagged as 'Comedy'

‘Return of the Living Dead III’ (1993)

Zombie girlfriends, rebellious teens, fast cars, motorcycles and gunplay. To spell it out that way, it almost sounds like some other movie. Some other, equally improbable movie.

Of course, it’s just the 3nd sequel to George Romero and John Russo’s Night of the Living Dead (1968)  but this film belongs to the dramedy fork of the franchise that Russo took when he and Romero went their separate ways.

Of course, RothLD 3 was written, directed and produced by ’80s low-budget schlockmeister and H.P. Lovecraft aficionado, Brian Yuzna . Unlike it’s predecessors, it abandons the full-on campy excesses of predecessors Dan O’Bannon ( Alien, Lifeforce, Total Recall )  and Ken Wiederhorn to inject the tragic pathos of teenage romance into the mix, and somehow it works marvelously. [Read more →]

‘Up’* (2009)

up_poster1 Pixar’s tenth film in 15 years, ‘Up’ charms with its tale of Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner (voice)), an old man befuddled and disgusted by the changes around him, and Russell (Jordan Nagai (voice)), a wilderness scout bent on earning his last badge for “assisting the elderly.”

Threatened with the forcible removal from his house, the last remaining one in the midst of a high-rise construction zone, Carl takes the drastic step of attaching thousands of helium balloons to his house so he can fly off in search of the adventure he and his beloved departed wife Ellie never got to take, the journey to Paradise Falls [Read more →]

‘Yes Man’ (2008)

Let me say up front that I don’t normally like Jim Carrey movies. He’s like a less funny, flatulent version of Buster Keaton . Despite this, I was intrigued enough by the premise of Carrey’s new film ‘Yes Man’ to plunk down $10 and spend an hour and 45 minutes of my life.

Carl Allen (Carrey) is the definition of a drone. His life is a well-worn path consisting of work, the video store, and falling asleep on his couch. His wife left him over a year ago, his job as a junior loan officer is a dead end that only encourages his tendency to say no to life. A chance meeting with Nick (John Michael Higgins), whom we are given little information about and are meant to assume is “an old friend,” and Nick’s raves about how the power of yes changed his life push Carl to attend a motivational seminar by Terrence Bundley (Terence Stamp) during which he is singled out. [Read more →]

“The Middleman” (2008)

During a summer that’s seen an effort of recycling everybody’s syndicated childhood programming — Get Smart , Speed Racer , live-action versions of ‘The Hulk’ and ‘Iron Man’ — some of the good stuff is getting lost over at ABC Family. “ The Middleman ” is Javier Grillo-Marxuach ‘s television adaptation of his eponymous series of graphic novels .

But The Middleman isn’t just some dime-store comic book property, it’s a fun, literate and self-conscious treatment of semi-secret agents, superheroes and villains, a pop-culture c onfiture that rivals anything Joss Whedon and the Gilmore Girls ever offered up in zither’s fast-paced talk-fests. While I’ve not read the comic book , it is said to be ingenious.
[Read more →]

‘Hancock’ (2008)

Hancock ‘ started it’s journey to the screen 12 years ago as a spec-screenplay by first-timer Ny Vincent Ngo, titled ‘Tonight He Comes’.

I first learned about Ngo’s screenplay through some fanboy site like Harry Knowles’ AintItCool.com. Ngo’s script created something of an uproar in Hollywood despite comic book properties being at a fallow moment after Joel Schumacher’s assumption of the Batman franchise with ‘s ‘ Batman Forever ‘ (1995) and the revolving door that the title role became after the departure of Tim Burton and Michael Keaton.

‘Tonight’ launched a bidding war and got Ngo signed by CAA, jump-starting Ngo’s screenwriting career and several premium-cable writing gigs. But along the way, the script also got the attention of Writer-Producer Akiva Goldsman who bought the script and subsequently doctored it to fit his number one screen-doctoring client, Will Smith. [Read more →]

‘Juno’ (2007)

Was this worth $10 and my 2 hours?

Whenever someone tells me that a movie is just the best thing ever I nod and smile politely and ask what, specifically, justifies this characterization. When several someones, including a blitz advertising campaign and reviewer after reviewer tell me that a movie is the best thing ever I start to resist. I immediately begin to look for the infamous man behind the curtain, to wonder just how long it will be after I bite before I find that while the confection may have looked good in the pastry case inside it is nothing but air. It’s for this reason that I waited more than a month to see ‘Juno.’ And while this film certainly isn’t all it has been hyped to be, neither is it to be reviled with the passion some critics have devoted to said reviling.
[Read more →]

‘Charlie Wilson’s War’ (2007)

Charlie Wilson’s War’ is a tricky film to write on, because I have both a Proustian relationship with the material and a more generalized, historical appreciation for the the effort that writer Aaron Sorkin and director Mike Nichols have accomplished.

The week before I saw ‘Charlie Wilson’, I had watched ‘ Nineteen Eighty-Four ‘ again, only to discover what seemed to be a waterboarding administered to Winston by O’Brien.

The past is prologue. [Read more →]

“Dirty Sexy Money” (2007)

ABC’s ‘ Dirty Sexy Money ‘ is ‘ The Royal Tenenbaums ‘ meets ‘ Six Feet Under ‘ by way of ‘ Californication ‘, but with a cast 2x as large as any of its predecessors.

Money is a bright, new turn for Peter Krause, who was about to be eclipsed by his former co-star, Michael C. Hal and his triumph in Showtime’s ‘Dexter’. Money is the kind of comedy that wouldn’t have made it to network television as little as 4 years ago –there are ‘too many’ characters, the show is ‘too high concept’ and and the only audience it could entertain is the well-educated and firmly middle- to upper-class people familiar with the idea of middle-aged trust fund babies. [Read more →]

“Hustle” (2004)

The best new show of 2006 is on AMC.

“WTF?!”, you say? AMC, the home of endless Charles Bronson repeats and forgettable PG-13 80′s crap?

Yes, THAT AMC.

Hustle stars Adrian Lester (‘ Primary Colors ‘), Robert Vaughn (‘ The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ ) and Marc Warren (‘The Vice’) in a hip, new British caper-show that resembles ‘Mission Impossible’ by way of ‘The Avengers’. In this case though, the protagonists are con-men.

Lester is the ringleader, while Warren and Vaughn provide support and newcomer Jaime Murray provides distraction as resident femme fatale Stacie Monroe.

In many ways Hustle is a throwback to those stealthy policiers of yesteryear, when we’d dally with Mrs. Peel and John Steed as roguish British agents. But unlike the craptacular tv-show remakes of the late ’90′s, Hustle is all about the writing. [Read more →]