comedies

‘Scrambled’ Combines Humor, Empathy to Portray the Tribulations of Adulthood

Ben Friedman

McKendrick’s film is in communication with other adult coming-of-age films. Whether it is Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy, Sam Mendes’s American Beauty, or the films of Judd Apatow, they all share one trait in common with Scrambled: humor. Said humor may be seen as politically incorrect in the context of hindsight, yet it is not a sign of failure in the filmmaker’s writing -- rather it showcases a willingness and honesty in their exploration of self.

'Dream Scenario' Delivers an Interesting, Surreal Film From A24

Ulises Duenas

After Paul soaks in the strange adulation from strangers, things take a turn. People’s dreams about him turn into nightmares where he begins to brutally murder people. The depiction of those nightmares feels accurate compared with real dreams; they’re not overly absurd and the imagery is disjointed and confusing when presented to the viewer.

‘Fool’s Paradise’ Struggles to Make Its Silent Protagonist Truly Relevant

Ulises Duenas

Charlie Day plays a man recently released from a mental institution who has no ability to communicate with people and is largely unaware of the things going on around him. Making the character mute could have been done well, but when that character is also incapable of communicating, it makes it difficult to find him compelling. Even though his body language can be funny, it’s mostly up to the rest of the cast to deliver jokes -- which has mixed results.

‘Mafia Mamma’ Brings Laughs but Also Rom-Com Baggage

Ulises Duenas

It takes a while for the movie to get going, but once Kristen is in Italy, the humor starts to pick up. Collette has a good sense of comedic timing and the supporting characters do a good job of keeping the movie light and charming. The downside is the humor constantly clashes with the romantic elements, which feel like they were pulled out of a novel you’d find at the airport. 

‘Cocaine Bear’ Is ‘Highly’ Problematic

Garrett Hartman

The antagonist of the film is shifted away from the clear and obvious villain and the film is punctuated with yet another overindulgent and unpleasant death scene. The film is a frustrating montage of violence whose story and comedy serves solely as a thinly veiled excuse to view and trivialize death. My dislike of this film is not merely a distaste for gore. I would argue I’m quite the fan of gory media, but this film simply lacks any of the tact that makes gory movies fun.

‘History of the World, Part II’ Delivers Mel Brooks’s Delightful Brand of Humor

Ulises Duenas

This is a sketch show that serves as a follow-up to the movie of the same name that was released in 1981. It has a cast full of veteran comedians like Nick Kroll, Pamela Adlon, Wanda Sykes, and Jack Black. The whole series is a sequence of parodies that skip around different historical periods and events like the Civil War, the Bolshevik Revolution, and World War II. One of my favorites was the story of Jesus Christ, which was framed like an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Adult Swim’s Weird, Wonderful Christmas Movie Is a Trip of the Senses

Ben Friedman

Adult Swim released its version of a Christmas movie, and it is as weird as one would suspect from the channel that airs Rick and Morty, The Eric Andre Show, and Smiling Friends.  Directed by Casper Kelly, Adult Swim Yule Log (aka The Fireplace) follows a couple who travels to an Airbnb for the holidays, only to discover their cabin has been double-booked by a group of stoner friends. Forced to board together, the two parties uncover a dark and mysterious presence that abides within the cabin.

New Comedy Follows a Day in the Life of a Brothel Worker

Ben Friedman

Despite a strong leading performance from Lea Thompson, who gives an emotionally compelling and often humorous performance, this film fails her by not giving her enough to do. The film works best when Thompson is on screen. Yet, the story insists on cutting back to the magician, thus grinding any form of positive momentum to a complete stop. His character does not have an arc, and the story’s attempts at philosophical musings fall flat.

My Evening With Kevin Smith: ‘Clerks III’ and The Convenience Tour

Ben Friedman

For fans of the indie director, Clerks III is essential viewing, especially if you get the chance to see The Convenience Tour. Touring across 50 theaters in North America, Smith personally presents the movie and ends the show with an hour-long Q&A (though in typical Kevin Smith fashion, the Q&A went an hour overtime). His show is a love letter to the fans and offers great insight into the behind-the-scenes making of a movie.

‘Barbarian' Is Surprising, and One of the Best Movies of the Year

Ulises Duenas

The film begins with a young woman named Tess arriving at her Airbnb to find out that it’s already occupied by a man named Keith. She ends up agreeing, begrudgingly,  to stay in the house for the night and starts to hear strange noises. In the morning she discovers that the rest of the neighborhood is completely run down except for the house she’s staying in. The movie does a good job of building tension while keeping the viewer wondering in which direction things are going.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - comedies