Archive for the Comedy Category

The Big Short

Posted in Comedy, Drama with tags on January 14, 2016 by Mark Walker


Director: Adam McKay.
Screenplay: Adam McKay, Charles Randolph.
Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Rafe Spall, Jeremy Strong, Marisa Tomei, Melissa Leo, Tracy Letts, Karen Gillan, Hamish Linklater, Jeffry Griffin, Adepero Oduye, John Magaro, Finn Wittrock, Anthony Bourdain, Selena Gomez, Margot Robbie.

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so”

Better known for his comedy films like Anchorman, Step Brothers and Talladega Nights, The Big Short is a big leap for director Adam McKay. Going from improvised Will Ferrell gags to dealing with the true story of the global financial crisis of 2008 is quite a departure from his usual comfort zone. If truth be told, I’m not a fan of his comedies and had some strong reservations about this but it was hard to resist seeing such quality actors sink their teeth into a very personal subject that has affected us all. Continue reading

God’s Pocket

Posted in Comedy, Crime, Drama with tags on November 26, 2015 by Mark Walker

20141023-102331.jpg

Director: John Slattery.
Screenplay: Alex Metcalf, John Slattery.
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, John Turturro, Christina Hendricks, Eddie Marsan, Domenick Lombardozzi, Caleb Landry Jones, Peter Gerety, Glenn Fleshler, Prudence Wright Jones, Jack O’Connell.

“I don’t know why writing down what everybody knows, is any better than knowing it in the first place”

Along with A Most Wanted Man, God’s Pocket was sadly one of only two remaining lead performances from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman – after his untimely death in 2014 to a heroine overdose. For this alone, it’s worth reminding yourself what a great talent this man was and how the medium of film will forever miss his astonishing onscreen presence. If truth be told, it’s not a role that requires him to do very much and the film itself continually switches tones but like many other movies featuring this fantastic actor, it benefits from his commitment and his everyman naturalism.
Continue reading

Ted 2

Posted in Comedy with tags on October 23, 2015 by Mark Walker

Director: Seth MacFarlane.
Screenplay: Seth MacFarlane, Wellesley Wild, Alec Sulkin.
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Morgan Freeman, Jessica Barth, Sam J. Jones, Patrick Warburton, Michael Dorn, Bill Smitrovich, John Slattery, Cocoa Brown, John Carroll Lynch, Ron Canada, Tom Brady, Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, Dennis Haysbert, Liam Neeson.
Narrator: Patrick Stewart.

“There are no chicks with dicks, Johnny, only guys with tits”

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane always struck me as the type of humorist that had a seemingly endless amount of jokes. His animated show has been hugely successful for years and seems to have the ability that The Simpsons has in terms of staying power and maintaining a high standard of entertainment. However, that ability to provide the goods is severely lacking from this second attempt at a winning formula.  Continue reading

The Blues Brothers

Posted in Comedy, Musical on October 16, 2015 by Mark Walker

Director: John Landis.
Screenplay: Dan Aykroyd, John Landis.
Starring: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Carrie Fisher, Henry Gibson, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, Murphy Dunne, Steve Cropper, Donald Dunn, Willie Hall, Tom Malone, Lou Marini, Alan Rubin, Matt Murphy, Kathleen Freeman, Steve Lawrence, Charles Napier, Jeff Morris, Twiggy, Frank Oz, Steven Williams, Armand Cerami, Chaka Khan, Ben Piazza, Paul Reubens, Steven Spielberg.

“It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses…”

It’s always a tricky one when you revisit a film that was a big part of your adolescence and in some ways responsible for laying the groundwork on your love of movies. There’s likely to be a tinge of nostalgia or reminiscence, making it difficult to judge it objectively. That said, sometimes the film is just so much fun and so enjoyable that you know why you hold it in such high regard in the first place. Without a shadow of a doubt, The Blues Brothers is (still) that kind of film. Continue reading

Housebound

Posted in Comedy, Horror, thriller on April 16, 2015 by Mark Walker

Director: Gerard Johnstone
Screenplay: Gerard Johnstone.
Starring: Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Cameron Rhodes, Ross Harper, Ryan Lampp, Mick Innes, Millen Baird, Bruce Hopkins, Wallace Chapman, David Van Horn.

“But anyone who says there’s no such thing as a bad egg obviously hasn’t worked in social services”

The minute I find myself being critical of comedies and horrors (or the lack of good ones, as the case may be) two splendid film’s come along in quick succession that manage to cut across both genres. After the hysterical Antipodean horror-comedy What We Do In The Shadows – which was hands down the funniest film of 2014 – it’s refreshing to see that New Zealand had yet another one up their sleeve, as well as a promising new writer/director in Gerard Johnstone. 

Continue reading

Inherent Vice

Posted in Comedy, Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery on February 17, 2015 by Mark Walker

IMG_2194-0

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson.
Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson.
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Katherine Waterston, Owen Wilson, Reece Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Eric Roberts, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Serena Scott Thomas, Maya Rudolph, Hong Chau, Jordan Christian Hearn, Jeannie Berlin, Christopher Allen Nelson, Keith Jardine, Martin Dew, Jefferson Mays, Martin Donovan.

“Back when, she could go weeks without anything more complicated than a pout. Now she was laying some heavy combination of face ingredients on him that he couldn’t read at all”

Do you know that feeling of anticipation you get whenever a respected director is releasing a new film? It’s the same feeling that often surrounds Quentin Tarantino’s releases. Well, I also get that feeling when I hear of a new Paul Thomas Anderson project and I’m pretty certain many others do too. That being said, Anderson’s last two introspective films There Will Be Blood and The Master took him much further away from his earlier vibrant works of Boogie Nights and Magnolia and left a number of his fans finding them too onerous. Many may not agree but if he was ever to bridge that gap then Inherent Vice is that bridge.

Continue reading

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Posted in Comedy, Drama, Fantasy on February 10, 2015 by Mark Walker

2015/01/img_2009.jpg

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Screenplay: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Alexander Dinelaris, Nicolás Giacobone, Armando Bo.
Starring: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Ryan, Andrea Riseborough, Lindsay Duncan, Craig Mums Grant, Frank Ridley, Bill Camp.

“Popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige”

Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu is not normally known for his jeu d’esprit and has seemed more comfortable while dealing with heavily pessimistic and sombre themes. His previous films Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel and Biutiful are all excellent works but they require serious commitment to get yourself through their excruciatingly downbeat material. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that his latest effort in Birdman is ultimately about the fractured and fragile psyche of a man on a seemingly downward spiral. However, Birdman shows another side to Iñárritu’s talents; black it may be but he now surprisingly displays a great talent for comedy.

Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,584 other followers