Archive for the ‘Comedy/Laffs’ Category

The Cabin in the Woods

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

tn_cabininthewoodsWARNING: This review contains major GRUMPINESS

I liked THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, but it’s the kind of movie that people who don’t like horror movies say is THE BEST HORROR MOVIE IN YEARS. Of course it seems that way to them because 1) they don’t have that much to compare it to, they just have a hunch about what those other ones are like, those bad ones, and 2) since they don’t like horror movies that much they prefer one that’s not really that much of a horror movie.

If you say that I hope you’ve seen THE WOMAN, MARTYRS, INSIDE, maybe THE LOVED ONES, DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, HILLS HAVE EYES, HOUSE OF THE DEVIL. Throw on FRONTIER(S) maybe for good measure. Maybe P2. Hell, HALLOWEEN II. Not saying you’ll like all of these better than CABIN, but you gotta have something more to compare it to than PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and SHAUN OF THE DEAD.

Sorry to rant, but as a proud Fangorian-American I take this kinda shit personally. To me, CABIN IN THE WOODS isn’t a horror movie. It’s horror-once-removed, but an enjoyable example of that, like TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL. It has a clever way of playing with some of the more obvious horror cliches. It has a good cast, likable characters and alot of laughs. But I call bullshit on the idea that it also works as a legit horror movie. And you know how I am. I prefer the real deal.

Look, all I’m saying is that horror comedy is to real horror as smooth jazz is to actual jazz. That’s all. Nothing wrong with that. Real horror is an acquired taste, it isn’t for everybody. Alot of people prefer something gentle, like a songbird. I don’t look down on you for that. Freedom to, you know– pursuing liberty, or whatever.

Good, we all agree. Now, The Internet has decreed that the premise of this movie is a spoiler. If so I’m not gonna try to write a spoilerless review, because that would be a pointless review. So from here on out I’m assuming you’ve seen the movie. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Dolemite Explosion

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

tn_dolemiteexplosion“Ron, now you know, I’m a great low budget filmmaker now. So when we bring somethin it’s got to be devastatin. I don’t want no bullshit.” –DOLEMITE EXPLOSION director Ron Hall, recounting what Rudy Ray Moore would always say to him

About a year and a half ago Xenon Pictures released the Dolemite Total Experience box set. I thought it was the same as the old box set I already had, except with more compact packaging and a better cover. I didn’t realize that it included Rudy Ray Moore’s unreleased final film, THE DOLEMITE EXPLOSION.

When I put the DVD in my first thought was they didn’t make this shit anamorphic? This is 2012! But in retrospect even the shitty transfer fits the home-made, do-what-you-can, sell-it-out-of-your-trunk ghetto tradition of Rudy Ray’s entire career.

It was hard for the fringe icons of the ’70s to recapture the magic even in the ’80s or ’90s. There was that SUPERFLY RETURNS movie with a different actor playing Priest for the hip hop age. There was the last Curtis Mayfield album with beautiful songs interrupted by terrible rapping, there were pretty good George Clinton albums trying a little too hard to cram in guest appearances by Ice Cube, there were attempts to remake DOLEMITE as a studio movie starring LL Cool J. Always trying to use what’s popular at that moment to try to legitimize the O.G. shit for the kids. Sometimes it’s okay, but it’s never a home run. It’s never devastatin. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Ape

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

tn_theapeLast year it was in the news that James Franco wanted to direct an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. Other– let’s say, more experienced directors like Ridley Scott had tried already, but the book defeated them. Now here’s this young actor, he’s got a couple Oscar nominations under his belt, but he’s often confused with his dumb stoner comedic persona and called pretentious for his goofball side projects like being on General Hospital and going to Yale. He apparently shot a 20-minute test film starring Mark Pelligrino, Scott Glenn, Luke Perry and his brother Dave to prove his directorial chops. Later he was moved over to a different McCarthy project, CHILD OF GOD.

But here’s the thing: he was already a director. In 2005 he directed, starred in and adapted (from his own play) THE APE, about a writer sharing a New York City apartment with a slobby gorilla. (He has other directing credits on IMDb too, but this looks like the earliest one available on video.) (read the rest of this shit…)

Young Adult

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

tn_youngadultYou know how sometimes you’re watching a movie and you feel like you don’t like the character as much as you’re supposed to? They’re meant to be relatable but you just think they’re an asshole? Well, YOUNG ADULT is the rare case where I felt like I liked the protagonist more than I was probly supposed to. Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) is a real selfish asshole, she’s trying to do something crazy and unethical that could ruin people’s lives. So I felt kinda guilty about how much I liked and related to her. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Terminal

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

tn_terminalspielbergI was sort of dreading THE TERMINAL, because I’d heard only bad things, and because I was pretty sure it wouldn’t stand up to SCHINDLER, AMISTAD and PRIVATE RYAN all in a row. Well, it’s not something a consider a good movie. It’s a hacky comedy script that squeezes cute bullshit out of a great real life premise. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Artist

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

tn_theartistTHE ARTIST is an enjoyable, cleverly made tribute movie by the French director (Michel Hazanavicius) and star (Jean Dujardin) of those O.S.S. 117 movies, which from what I have heard are also enjoyable, cleverly made tribute movies. In this one the guy plays George Valentin, beloved silent film star, on top of the world right before the dawn of the sound era. And then he’s in trouble.
(read the rest of this shit…)

1941

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

spielbergtn_1941This movie has a reputation as kind of a mess. Admittedly it is a 2 1/2 hour broad comedy about paranoia right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In my opinion a 2 1/2 hour broad comedy about paranoia right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor was not necessarily one of the top two or three things the world hoped for as Steven Spielberg’s followup to CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. But fuck ‘em. It’s what they got and they oughta fuckin appreciate it. (read the rest of this shit…)

Santa’s Slay

Monday, December 19th, 2011

tn_santasslaySANTA’S SLAY is an enjoyably dumb killer Santa movie. It’s from 2005 but it’s in the ’80s b-horror tradition of cheesy acting and dialogue and sort of pretending to be serious but with an intentionally asinine premise. Not quite as campy as KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE or RETURN OF THE KILLER TOMATOES, but less serious than the SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHTs. Actually the movie it reminded me of most is from the year before, Jeff Lieberman’s SATAN’S LITTLE HELPER. That was a Halloween movie, though. (read the rest of this shit…)

Wholesome PG-rated triple feature part 1: The Muppets

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

tn_muppetsAfter watching the whole HOSTEL trilogy I felt like I had to watch something a little happier, and preferably with less torture, although that’s not necessarily a dealbreaker. Well, it just so happens that three great filmmakers of the ’70s – Martin Scorsese, George Miller and Kermit the Frog – have released new PG-rated family movies in recent weeks. So somehow I ended up watching them. And you know I am hesitant to spend too much time on puppets and cartoon animals and crap like that, but honestly these movies all have a little something to say, a little more going on beneath the surface than alot of the ones they make that are supposedly for grown adults. Maybe puppet movies and cartoons are just such a pain in the ass to make that people figure if they’re gonna do one they should try to make it worthwhile. Although that wouldn’t explain the Chipmunk movies. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Reunion

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

tn_reunionTHE REUNION is another entertaining and kinda unexpected release from the prestigious WWE Studios. Even more than INSIDE OUT it doesn’t really follow THE MARINE’S approach of just sticking one of their wrestlers into the lead of a formula action movie. This one’s an ensemble crime comedy with only one wrestler, WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World or whatever John Cena, as Sam, one of three estranged brothers forced to work together in a family business to earn a big-ass inheritance. The other two brothers are Leo (Ethan Embry), a fast-talking fuckup bail bondsman, and Douglas (Boyd Holbrook), a James Dean type leather-jacket wearing, brooding, fresh-out-of-lockup half brother they didn’t even know about ’cause he grew up in youth homes. Embry wears an I’m-quirky-and-sort-of-retro hat like Michael Rapaport in INSIDE OUT or like a less boneheaded Matt Dillon in THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY. (read the rest of this shit…)