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items tagged with Comedies

True Defective: "Unbroken," "The Imitation Game," and "Big Eyes"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-12-29 01:20:46

Jack O'Connell in UnbrokenUNBROKEN, THE IMITATION GAME, and BIG EYES

Among other titles, Christmas Day brought with it the area releases of Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, and Tim Burton’s Big Eyes. Each of them opens with a title-card variant on “This is a true story.” Each of them ends with a series of title cards informing us what happened to characters after the films’ narratives concluded. And each of them, for occasional better and more frequent worse, feels absolutely, 100-percent Hollywood.


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Unclean and Sober: "Top Five," "Wild," and "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-12-21 22:02:50

Rosario Dawson and Chris Rock in Top FiveTOP FIVE

Chris Rock is on-record as being a fan of Woody Allen movies and Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight trilogy, and the comedian’s funny and thoughtful Top Five – Rock’s first film as a writer/director since 2007’s I Think I Love My Wife – is like a 100-minute blend of those influences. Then again, Allen, and certainly Linklater, would be much less likely to cap a scene with the image of a naked man getting a Tabasco-soaked tampon shoved up his ass.


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Fight or Flightless: "Penguins of Madagascar," "Horrible Bosses 2," and "Rosewater"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-11-30 22:54:06

Penguins of MadagascarPENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR

Penguins of Madagascar opens with a sweeping overhead shot of an (animated) Antarctic expanse, which eventually lands on an orderly march of flightless waterfowl. This introduction is narrated by a documentarian voiced by Werner Herzog, who informs us, in the director’s unmistakable German-accented English, that we’re to witness penguins in all their natural glory – right before he orders a crew member to shove a few off a cliff, just to see what will happen. Between Herzog, the environmental-doc satire, and the sheer goofiness of it all, this prelude is such a fantastically funny way to start directors Eric Darnell’s and Simon J. Smith’s spin-off that it immediately leaves you anticipating a movie that’ll be smart and hilarious throughout. Would you settle, though, for smart and moderately amusing?


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Stars’ Wars, and the Employee Strikes Back: "Beyond the Lights," "Saving Christmas," "Dumb & Dumber To," and "Citizenfour"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-11-16 21:44:07

Nate Parker and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Beyond the LightsFriday, November 14, 10:45 a.m.-ish: I’m beginning the day with writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights, a romantic melodrama about a troubled, Rihanna-like pop star, and it opens with its central character, as a little girl, getting reprimanded by her awful stage mother for the heinous crime of being first-runner-up in a talent show. Nearly two hours later, with the now-grown chanteuse overcoming her demons and finally scoring her long-awaited personal and professional triumphs, everything the prelude led me to expect from the movie has come to pass, but with one major exception: I’m grinning like mad and wiping away tears. How the hell did that happen?!


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How the Grinch Stole Brooklyn: "St. Vincent," "John Wick," and "Ouija"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-10-26 23:15:25

Jaeden Lieberher and Bill Murray in St. VincentST. VINCENT

St. Vincent stars Bill Murray as the titular (if decidedly un-saintly) Vincent, a cranky, disheveled grump who may be the meanest man in Brooklyn, if not all of New York. He speaks in a honking regional dialect and guzzles brown liquor by the quart, and his only pals are a pair of fellow barflies and the local hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold. He’s frequently seen chain-smoking in a porkpie hat with oversize sunglasses, and spends his days at the track making losing bets with his bookie. At his ramshackle home, he watches old Abbott & Costello movies on an ancient television and, when drunk, drives straight over his white picket fence. When a neighbor kid needs to use a pay phone, Vincent begrudgingly gives him a dime for the call. Given all this, in what year would you guess St. Vincent takes place? 1957? 1958?


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