with 'comedy' tag

we watched tooth fairy recently, and it suddenly made sense why dwayne “the rock” johnson has had a lower profile the last couple of years. but billy crystal’s cameo almost made the rest of the movie worth it.

knocked up is very funny, with rich characters and fantastic acting. but the plot is strikingly unsurprising. it doesn’t drag the movie down, but it is disappointing how weak the story is in comparison to everything else. and seth rogen could not be more perfectly suited to the lead role. so much so that while the 40 year old virgin ratcheted up steve carell’s career, i don’t think the same will happen for rogen.

five better names for the downtown comedy club

  1. downtown clowns
  2. formerly a coke bar
  3. the peach pit at night
  4. where’s the rave?
  5. giggle on the nickel

ten words, two movies

nacho libre: very sweet, quite funny, nacho!

an inconvenient truth: we are all boiling frogs.

i’m not picking, i’m scratching

there are a few funny gags lurking within the benchwarmers, but jon heder certainly can’t carry the movie on his napoleon dynamite schtick, and you know there’s trouble when rob schneider is your macho male lead, supposedly married to molly sims.

if you’re not willing to sound stupid you don’t deserve to be in love

a lot like love is a little gem of a romantic movie, although i see now that it got really bad reviews when it was released. amanda peet is great, ashton kutcher doesn’t stink up the place, and it all fits together remarkably well. there’s a lot of little details and moments in the film that feel right, and make it easier to suspend some of the disbelief about how the lives of these two can keep intersecting.

(and for people who like to see places they know on-screen, there’s a scene that was shot in cole’s.)

i outrank you!

the producers (the original film version) is very funny, but i came into it tainted by the recent version. i can see how people who saw this first, and closer to its original release, can view it with such reverence, but i think there are some things that are better about each version. the thing that really shines in the original are the performances, which are all hilarious. the remake, in addition to adding a number of brilliant musical numbers, has a better pacing and i think it just fits together better.

i dug a hole

the castle is a goofy little australian film about a family fighting to save its home from an eminent domain land-grab to expand the airport they live next to. but it’s really about the quirky family, and their blind geniality, especially the dad’s.

the three b’s

bad santa is an incredibly profane holiday movie. i really wasn’t expecting much, but billy bob thornton really owns the role of a bad mall santa, and what’s not to like about lauren graham as a santa fetishist?

wyrd sisters by terry pratchett is the discworld riff on shakespeare, and is also very funny. an astute observation: “ninety per cent of true love is acute, ear-burning embarrassment.”

the universe tends to unfold as it should

harold & kumar go to white castle is one of those movies that is exactly what you expect going in, and hits all the right notes. neil patrick harris has a hilarious cameo as himself.

and this aside from roger ebert’s review of the movie is genius: “Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland.”

a sport of violence, exclusion, and degradation

dodgeball: a true underdog story is funnier than it should be. none of the acting is particularly good, the plot is about as predictable as it possibly could be, and yet it is all redeemed by actually being really funny. it also has some of the most brilliant cameo appearances in recent memory, including david hasselhoff.

check out that side boob

the girl next door is your classic porn-star-falls-in-love-with-guy, guy-acts-like-a-creep, guy-redeems-himself-and-porn-star movie.

i mean, what porn star isn’t really just a good-hearted girl yearning to pursue a normal guy, fall in love, and step into a normal life?

that’s realistic, right?

cotton-headed ninny-muggins

elf is a fun holiday film. it does a good job of evoking the old stop-animation holiday specials, and jon favreau love of practical special effects (versus cgi effects) really turns out well. and zooey deschanel can sing.

saved! is a teen comedy set in a religious (born-again) high school. it does a pretty remarkable job of threading the needle of being funny without being too broad or focusing on easy targets.

for the soundtrack (over the opening and closing credits), mandy moore does a cover of “god only knows” by the beach boys, but it falls far short of the original.

jena malone really does look like mary-louise parker’s daughter, too. and on the commentary with mandy moore, it is funny how often she says “gosh” and “totally.”

the aristocrats is a very funny documentary. i think my favorite rendition of the joke is the one by the mime, although the south park version is also great.

no serenity yet, but the aristocrats is playing at the laemmle grande this weekend.

crimen ferpecto is a black comedy from spain about a department store salesman, his rivalry with another salesman to become the floor manager, and his relationships with the women he works with. it is pretty funny, but it doesn’t quite live up to its potential. it has a bit of that classic romantic comedy feel, but it doesn’t keep topping itself like down with love did.

say it isn’t so isn’t as terrible as i thought it would be. it’s not great, but it is pretty competently put together. there was at least one shot where i thought “that looks too good to be in this movie.”

and let’s face it, i’d watch rollergirl read the phone book. and that’s a good thing, because chris klein basically has the acting range of a phone book.

okay, that’s probably too harsh. but i thought it was funny.

the 40 year-old virgin is a very funny film. it was another long comedy like wedding crashers, but it also doesn’t really suffer for it. i think it would have been better without the last three or four minutes. there’s a perfect scene for it to end on, and the ones afterward are either obvious or gratuitous. not bad — they just don’t really make the film any better.

wedding crashers manages to be funny despite numerous flaws, and i think one major reason is because isla fisher steals every scene she is in. (and let’s just say that the cameo near the end of the film will be no big shock if you know the new gay mafia membership roster.)

bubba ho-tep is a bit of a cult classic, but i have to say i was a bit underwhelmed. a large part of that is probably because i failed to stay awake through the whole thing — twice. so there’s a chunk of the middle/end that i didn’t see.

there are some great moments: the flashback explaining how elvis traded places with an impersonator, the interplay between campbell as elvis and ossie davis as john f. kennedy, and the decoration of jfk’s room.

maybe i’ll have to try again some day when i can make it through the whole film. but for now, i’ve got another 100 films in my netflix queue to work through.

i caught the life aquatic with steve zissou last weekend, and it was about what you’d expect for a wes anderson film starring the voice of garfield, bill murray. that is: funny, warped, understated, and elliptical.

along came polly was an extremely so-so film. verging on not good. the sort of film that makes me wonder why it is that i think i like ben stiller. he’s been in some real clunkers. i will, however, find it in my heart to forgive jennifer aniston.