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items tagged with Comedies

Crash! Crunch! Clunk! "The Big Short," "Concussion," and "Joy"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-12-28 00:20:16

Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling in The Big ShortDuring my extended holiday stay in the Chicago area, I saw a fantastic movie, a sizable disappointment, and an utter clunker. But as Carol, Legend, and The Danish Girl aren’t currently playing at a theater near you (at least if you live in the Quad Cities region), let’s instead focus on the other fantastic movie, sizable disappointment, and utter clunker I saw.
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Tonight We’re Gonna Party Like It’s 1989: "Sisters" and "Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Road Chip"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-12-20 02:33:43

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in SistersSISTERS

Sisters is about two 40-something siblings (Tina Fey and Amy Poehler) who, on the eve of its selling, decide to throw one last, big, balls-out get-together in the Orlando home of their youth. And the movie feels like some debaucherous parties that you might’ve thrown: It’s awesome at the start, intermittently enjoyable while it’s happening, and the people who showed up don’t seem to understand when it’s time for them to just leave already. As with such parties, you’re not all that upset that they decided to stick around – you’re happy they came. But less of them, and their being less wasted, would’ve definitely been more, just as director Jason Moore’s two-hour comedy would’ve likely been a stronger, more satisfying entertainment if it clocked in at 90 minutes, and had given us fewer scenes with Fey and Poehler in hostess mode.
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War of the Sexless: "Chi-raq" and "In the Heart of the Sea"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-12-13 00:49:02

Teyona Parris in Chi-raqCHI-RAQ

Last month, Spike Lee received an honorary Oscar at the 2015 Governors Awards ceremony. It was an earned and long-overdue recognition, especially given that, for many of us, the writer/director’s Do the Right Thing should’ve made him an Academy Award winner more than a quarter-century ago. (Then and now, Driving Miss Daisy notwithstanding, Do the Right Thing remains the true Best Picture of 1989.) But while Lee’s statuette may have been late in coming, I can’t help but think that the timing of its arrival could hardly be better. His new film Chi-raq, after all, is nowhere to be found in this year’s Oscar conversation. Yet its creator deserves trophies and more for this gut-wrenching, hilarious, deeply profound satire that’s stronger than at least 95 percent of the year’s more-likely awards candidates – and maybe riskier than 100 percent of them.
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Slashing through the Snow, or: A One-House Open Slay: "Krampus" and "The Letters"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-12-06 22:27:47

Toni Collette, Emjay Anthony, Allison Tolman, David Koechner, and Conchata Ferrell in KrampusKRAMPUS

What kind of sick bastard invented the jack-in-the-box? I mean, really: You turn a crank and hear an off-key rendition of “Pop Goes the Weasel,” and, the moment you’re most lulled into its creaky sing-song, a freaking clown jumps out at you?! As children’s toys go, this one’s just the worst – and, in its scary/funny way, also kind of the best. The same could be said for the new horror comedy Krampus, which, in one memorable scene, employs a jack-in-the-box for maximum giggles and shrieks. It’s a blunt and mostly clumsy piece of work, but also admirably creepy and sometimes very funny, and definitely one of the livelier yuletide-themed films of its type since Gremlins.
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All the News That’s Unfit for Print: "Spotlight," "Secret in Their Eyes," and "The Night Before"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-11-22 22:25:57

Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Brian d'Arcy James, Michael Keaton, and John Slattery in SpotlightSPOTLIGHT

Spotlight, director/co-writer Thomas McCarthy’s dramatic procedural exploring the events leading to the Boston Globe’s 2002 exposé on sexual abuse within the Catholic church, isn’t much to look at. Its color palette is generally restricted to sallow browns and grays, and even under the fluorescent illumination of the Globe offices, the air is heavy with an oppressive pall. A man racing down a courthouse hallway is the closest the film comes to an action sequence. One montage is devoted solely to journalists scanning address directories with rulers. And to my eyes, Spotlight – scene by scene, minute by minute – still emerges as the least boring movie of the year.
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