Tag: Comedy

2016, Movies

The Nice Guys (2016, Shane Black)

This is pretty hilarious slapstick buddy comedy mashed up with a period film noir set in LA in 1977. I didn’t realize this is the guy who made Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but it was, and if you liked that movie, you’ll no doubt like this.

2015, Movies

The Night Before (2015, Jonathan Levine)

This is one of those seemingly innumerable movies where celebrity cameos are viewed as a substitute for a good story and laughs. This is one of those “spot the cameo” movies, with a host of famous people popping up at different points. I suppose Scrooged is like that too, but at least it’s working off of A …

2015, TV

John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid (2015, Rhys Thomas)

iThough I have heard his name, I have never seen John Mulaney perform before. And since this came to Netflix, I’ve learned probably a little too much about him, given the AV Club’s coverage of him back in 2015 or 2016, whenever he had his show. As usual, hype can be dangerous, as I found …

2017, TV

American Vandal (2017)

The best pop culture satires and parodies manage to combine a scathing critique of their target genre or conventions with a true enough adherence to those conventions that you actually end up scaring while you enjoy the critique. American Vandal is an excellent, note-perfect satire of true crime series like Making a Murderer that somehow manages to …

2017, Movies

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017, James Gunn)

I don’t know what kind of ill-humour causes me to not love these movies as much as the next guy, but I was pretty damn underwhelmed by the (possibly over-hyped) first Guardians of the Galaxy and really had no plans to watch this one, unless I was bored one day looking through Netflix (which is how …

2017, Movies

Tiff 2017: The Death of Stalin (2017, Armando Iannucci)

Iannucci’s new film is, as I understand it, a bit of a left turn for him: it’s an adaptation of a graphic novel based upon the real event of the title. Though I had no such fears, one could be understandably trepidacious about Iannucci turning his satirical eye to something historically accurate.

1978, Movies

The Brink’s Job (1978, William Friedkin)

This is an unconventional heist film that focuses as much (or more) on the amusing aspects of a bunch of “losers” robbing The Brinks Company. There’s a lot of comedy and the problem with the film is that, at times, it feels like it is focusing more on the amusement than the planning of the …

2014, Movies

What We Do in the Shadows (2014, Jermaine Clement, Taika Waititi)

This is an amusing parody of reality TV disguised as a vampire comedy. It’s pretty slight, however: the plot is basically an extended reality TV episode about what happens when the house gets a new member or two, rather than anything more compelling. But there are enough gags – and the now patented New Zealand …

1988, Movies

High Spirits (1988, Neil Jordan)

This is a very, very silly but endearing film, shot in just an incredible-looking castle and half the fun is just ogling the castle. But Peter O’Toole is great and there are some memorable turns by other members of the cast. This is one of those 80s films with rough edges (the script could have …

2006, Movies

Brand Upon the Brain (2006, Guy Maddin)

I didn’t go see this in theatres, with its live orchestra, and that is now to my eternal regret. Because I feel like that experience might have made this the greatest of all Maddin experiences. On the small screen, it’s just not quite as immersive as I assume it would have been in a theatre …

1962, Movies

Boccacio ’70 (1962, Vittorio De Sica, Federico Fellini, Mario Monicelli, Luchino Visconti)

This is a collection of four roughly 50 minute long films (just three in the US theatrical edition) poking fun at the sexual mores of 1960s Italy (which is why there’s “’70” in the title???) in tribute to Decameron by Boccacio, a 14th century set of tales considered one of the early Italian literary masterpieces. …

2016, Movies

Masterminds (2016, Jared Hess)

Masterminds is one of those films you marvel about how it got made. Despite the rather incredible comic cast, this is a film that feels like it was dumped on an unsuspecting public once the people making it realized how much of a disaster it nearly is. It is a film full of very funny …

2016, Movies

Mascots (2016, Christopher Guest)

The decision to see Christopher Guest’s latest at TIFF was one made in ignorance that this is a Netflix film, which will soon be available for streaming. Alas. It’s an amusing film that, as Jenn put it, has no dead air. It’s certainly not Guest’s best – it’s quite slight and the targets of the …

2009, Movies

Black Dynamite (2009, Scott Sanders)

I haven’t seen any blaxploitation in some time but, from what I remember, this is a spot on parody. And, like every great parody, it takes itself seriously enough of the time that the film and characters feel committed to the genre even as they tear it apart. There are some really solid jokes here, …

2007, Movies

Big Man Japan (2007, Hitoshi Matsumoto)

This mockumentary has an ingenious conceit – the everyday life of a superhero. It combines a satire of Japanese monster movies with a satire of reality TV/slice of life documentaries. This is a ridiculously silly movie – which gets sillier at the end, something I’ve always admired – but its points are still worth taking, …

2000, Books, Fiction

Baudolino (2000) by Umberto Eco

This is a fairly uproarious comic novel about the fine line between truth and fiction, that also functions as a critique of medieval logic and reasoning and as a celebration/satire of the power of myth (and faith, and belief). But I felt a nagging sense of deja vu the entire time I was reading it. …

1958, Movies

Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958, Mario Monicelli)

This is supposedly one of the classic Italian comedies, considered an all-time great film by numerous people. It is apparently a parody of Rififi, a classic film I have yet to see. So, one of the reasons it’s lost on me would be because I haven’t seen the target of its satire. Maybe that’s why …

2016, TV

Hannibal Buress: Comedy Camisado (2016)

Probably like many people who don’t pay a lot of attention to stand up, I first heard of Burress after the Bill Cosby thing blew up. In this Netflix special he deals with that, and does his particular brand of observational humour. Burress has an odd and sometimes endearing delivery (though sometimes it seems less …

RIP

RIP Garry Shandling

Shandling was responsible for one of the truly great comedic TV shows, The Larry Sanders Show, which is on the shortlist of the very, very best, with The Flying Circus, SCTV, KITH, Seinfeld, The Simpsons and South Park. I’ve never seen his first show, It’s the Gary Shandling Show, but that was also apparently quite …

2016, Movies

Deadpool (2016, Tim Miller)

I think it’s safe to say that this is the best Marvel film outside of one or two of the X-Men sequels (the recent ones have been shockingly good). This film is funny – it’s not just mildly amusing, like Guardians of the Galaxy – and it manages to preserve the rather elliptical nature of …