Archive for the Comedy Category

Grudge Match

Posted in Comedy, Drama, Sport with tags on March 14, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Peter Segal.
Screenplay: Tim Kelleher, Rodney Rothman.
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Sylvester Stallone, Kim Basinger, Alan Arkin, Kevin Hart, Jon Bernthal, LL Cool J, Barry Primus, Anthony Anderson, Ireland Baldwin, Rich Little, Roy Jones Jr, Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson.

Yeah, look at us! We’re not dead! Everyone’s laughing at us! The whole world’s laughing at us! But we’re not dead! In fact, I feel more alive now than I ever felt!

Although their careers have went in very different paths, Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro have been around roughly the same amount of time and have, on occasion, come together. In 1976, they were Best Actor nominees for two of their most successful roles in “Rocky” and “Taxi Driver” (both losing out to Peter Finch in “Network“) and in 1997 they shared the screen for the first time in “Cop Land“. Now they’re at it again…

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Dazed And Confused

Posted in Comedy, Drama with tags on March 12, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Richard Linklater.
Screenplay: Richard Linklater.
Starring: Jason London, Wiley Wiggins, Matthew McConaughey, Rory Cochrane, Sasha Jenson, Cole Hauser, Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Shawn Andrews, Adam Goldberg, Anthony Rapp, Marissa Ribisi, Joey Lauren Adams, Parker Posey, Deena Martin, Michelle Burke, Mark Vandermeulen, Esteban Powell, Jeremy Fox, Christin Hinojosa, Jason O. Smith, Terry Mross, David Blackwell, Nicky Katt, Renee Zellweger.

Man, it’s the same bullshit they tried to pull in my day. If it ain’t that piece of paper, there’s some other choice they’re gonna try and make for you. You gotta do what Randall Pink Floyd wants to do, man. Let me tell you this, the older you do get the more rules they’re gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin’, man…
L-I-V-I-N
“.

Richard Linklater is one of those directors that consistently delivers fresh and original material yet somehow remains a filmmaker with a lower profile. His projects certainly gain the respect they deserve but they never really go over and above that in terms of awards. He’s always been innovative and has adopted some daring approaches to filmmaking with the likes of his free-form indie debut “Slacker“, the expansive “Before Sunrise” trilogy, the philosophical “Waking Life” and it’s rotoscope animated companion piece “A Scanner Darkly“. Even his forthcoming “Boyhood” – a 12 year project following a boy’s journey from 5 to 18 years old – is a feat that few, if any, directors have tackled. However, one of his most poignant and entertaining escapades happens to be the mosaic “Dazed and Confused“. It was largely ignored and a commercial failure upon it’s release but has since gained a strong cult status. And for very good reason.

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Nebraska

Posted in Comedy, Drama with tags on February 24, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Alexander Payne.
Screenplay: Bob Nelson.
Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Stacy Keach, Bob Odenkirk, Angela McEwan, Rance Howard, Mary Louise Wilson, Tim Driscoll, Devin Ratray, Kevin Kunkel.

These boys grow up staring at the rear ends of cows and pigs, it’s only natural that a real woman will get them chafing their pants“.

If he’s not already there yet, there’s no doubt that Alexander Payne is a director who’s name is fast becoming synonymous with quality. I’ve yet to see his 1996 debut “Citizen Ruth” but from “Election” in 1999 to the “The Descendants” in 2012, Payne has delivered a consistency that few directors can match. With every film, he just gets better and better and “Nebraska” is no exception.

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Her

Posted in Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction with tags on February 14, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Spike Jonze.
Screenplay: Spike Jonze.
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Chris Pratt, Portia Doubleday, Steve Zississ, Bill Hader.
Voices: Scarlett Johansson, Brian Cox, Spike Jonze, Kristen Wiig.

Love is a form of socially acceptable insanity

After bringing the warped and surreal works of Charlie Kaufman’s “Being John Malkovich” and “Adaptation” to the screen, director Spike Jonze carved himself a reputation for the off-beat. However, a misjudged adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s story “Where The Wild Things Are” followed and I have to admit that doubts were raised about his abilities. I wondered how much of Jonze was in his earlier films or did he actually need Kaufman in order to construct something of substance? On the evidence of “Her“, though, it’s apparent that Jonze is the real deal and fully capable of crafting his own original work.

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The Wolf Of Wall Street

Posted in Biography, Comedy, Crime, Drama with tags on January 27, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: Martin Scorsese.
Screenplay: Terrence Winter.
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Jean Dujardin, Kyle Chandler, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Rob Reiner, Pj Byrne, Kenneth Choi, Ethan Suplee, Jake Hoffman, Joanna Lumley, Shea Whigham, Cristin Milioti, Leah Ebersole, Katarina Cas, Brian Sacca, Henry Zebrowski, Spike Jonze.

On a daily basis I consume enough drugs to sedate Manhattan, Long Island, and Queens for a month. I take Quaaludes 10-15 times a day for my “back pain”, Adderall to stay focused, Xanax to take the edge off, part to mellow me out, cocaine to wake me back up again, and morphine… Well, because it’s awesome“.

Although retirement may possibly be on the horizon for one of America’s finest directors, at age 71, Martin Scorsese certainly doesn’t look like he’s slowing down. If anything, he’s as racy as he’s ever been and shows as much energy as someone half his age. “The Wolf Of Wall Street” may not be his most original approach to filmmaking. We’ve seen all this before as it strongly resembles the structure and downfall of Henry Hill in “Goodfellas“. It does feel a little like he’s repeating himself here but it’s still entirely suitable for the story he’s relating. I can’t see how else he would have done it. If he’d played it more straight, it probably wouldn’t have worked. He had to be outrageous and for that, it’s most certainly amongst his funniest outings.

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American Hustle

Posted in Comedy, Crime, Drama with tags on January 13, 2014 by Mark Walker

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Director: David O. Russell.
Screenplay: David O. Russell, Eric Singer.
Starring: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Robert DeNiro, Shea Whigham, Michael Peña, Louis C.K., Jack Huston, Alessandro Nivola, Saïd Taghmaoui, Elizabeth Röhm, Paul Herman, Barry Primus, Anthony Zerbe.

She was the Picasso of passive-aggressive karate“.

Following on from the Oscar winning success of “The Fighter” and “Silver Lining’s Playbook“, director David O. Russell is seemingly intent on sticking with a winning formula. His choice of actors in “American Hustle” have all delivered wonderful work for him in the past, so it makes sense to go with the ensemble that he has. Bale and Adams return from the former and Cooper, Lawrence and DeNiro return from the latter. One thing’s for certain, it was a very wise decision as every one of them deliver excellent work again.

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Don Jon

Posted in Comedy, Drama with tags on December 31, 2013 by Mark Walker

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Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Screenplay: Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, Brie Larson, Rob Brown, Jeremy Luke, Channing Tatum, Anne Hathaway, Cuba Gooding, Jr.

There’s only a few things I really care about in life. My body. My pad. My ride. My family. My church. My boys. My girls. My porn“.

For anyone remotely interested in film, it’s been hard not to notice or monitor the rise of Joseph Gordon-Levitt over recent times. Sure, he started off as a child actor in 1988 and appeared in such television shows as “Family Ties“, “L.A. Law” and “Quantum Leap“. He made his film debut in Robert Redford’s “A River Runs Through It” before arguably becoming a household name in the brilliant TV show “3rd Rock from the Sun“. Since then, his meteoric rise has went from strength to strength in both independent and blockbuster movies. “Don Jon” now marks another achievement in Gordon-Levitt’s career; it’s his writing and directorial debut and it’s a very strong footing to start on.

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(500) Days Of Summer

Posted in Comedy, Romance with tags on December 30, 2013 by Mark Walker

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Director: Marc Webb.
Screenplay: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend, Chloë Grace Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler, Clark Gregg, Rachel Boston, Minka Kelly.

No! Don’t pull that with me. This is not how you treat your friend! Kissing in the copy room? Holding hands in IKEA? Shower sex? Come on! Friends my balls!

Before he was given big bucks and entrusted with reinventing the franchise of “The Amazing Spider-Man“, director Marc Webb cut his directorial teeth on this highly appealing and (un)romantic-comedy. For a debut it’s very impressively handled and brings a fresh approach to the tired old boy-meets-girl formula.

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Prince Avalanche

Posted in Comedy, Drama with tags on December 16, 2013 by Mark Walker

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Director: David Gordon Green.
Screenplay: David Gordon Green.
Starring: Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch, Lance LeGault, Joyce Payne, Gina Grande.

True love is just like a ghost – people talk about it but very few have actually seen it“.

David Gordon Green is a director who’s work I’m largely unfamiliar with. I’ve never been drawn to the comedies “Pineapple Express“, “Your Highness” or “The Sitter“. However, I’ve heard that he’s done some good dramatic material in “George Washington“. Before this, the only film I had actually seen, that he was involved in, was Jeff Nichols’ “Shotgun Stories” – on which Gordon Green only served as producer. That being said, if “Prince Avalanche” is anything to go by, then I reckon I could find some enjoyment from his previous outings, as well as future endeavours that he might be involved in.

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The Family

Posted in Comedy, Crime, Drama with tags on November 21, 2013 by Mark Walker

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Director: Luc Besson.
Screenplay: Luc Besson, Michael Caleo.
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, Dianna Agron, John D’Leo, Jimmy Palumbo, Domenick Lombardozzi, Stan Carp, Vincent Pastore, Jon Freda.

It was a time when I had it all. People would ask me, “What was it like being untouchable?” The question they really should’ve asked was “What happens when it’s all over?”

During the 1990′s, Luc Besson was a director that I kept a very keen eye on. He delivered the dynamic French thriller “Nikita” before moving on to the kinetic and striking “Leon“. He followed this up with an outrageously unique Sci-Fi in “The Fifth Element” before tailing off with more obscure art-house and animation fair. “Angel-A” in 2005, was the last time I seen anything good from him and his latest in “The Family” would suggest that I’ll have to wait a little longer before he finds his feet again.

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