Archive for the Comedy Category

The Nice Guys

Posted in Action, Comedy, Crime, Mystery with tags on August 9, 2016 by Mark Walker


Director: Shane Black.
Screenplay: Shane Black, Anthony Bagarozzi.
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Angourie Rice, Kim Basinger, Matt Bomer, Keith David, Beau Knapp, Margaret Qualley, Yaya DaCosta, Lois Smith, Murielle Telio, Gil Gerard, Jack Kilmer, Ty Simpkins.

“Alright, which one of you cock-and-balls wants to make twenty bucks?”

Back in the 80’s and 90’s writer Shane Black was actually quite a prominent player in Hollywood and a big contributor to the hugely successful wave of “buddy-movies”. His writing credits extended to The Monster Squad, Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, Last Action Hero and The Long Kiss Goodnight before he decided to take a break from studio pressures. He returned in 2005 for his directorial debut Kiss Kiss Bang Bang before disappearing again, only to resurface with Iron Man 3 a few years ago. For those that grew up on Black’s earlier works (like myself), his latest in The Nice Guys should come as a fond reminder of his action/comedy antics.  Continue reading

Hail, Caesar!

Posted in Comedy with tags on May 17, 2016 by Mark Walker


Directors: Joel & Ethan Coen.
Screenplay: Ethan & Joel Coen.
Starring: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Frances McDormand, Clancy Brown, Heather Goldenhersh, Veronica Osorio, Alison Pill, Max Baker, Fisher Stevens, Patrick Fischler, David Krumholtz, Robert Picardo, Robert Trebor, Fred Melamed, Wayne Knight, Jack Huston, Christopher Lambert.
Narrator: Michael Gambon.

“Here at Capitol Pictures, as you know, an army of technicians, actors, and top notch artistic people are working hard to bring to the screen the story of the Christ. It’s a swell story”

Three years ago, the Coens brothers delivered a dramatic, musical piece that focused on the folk scene of the 60’s in Inside Llewyn Davis. If truth be told, it was a film that didn’t peak my interest at the time. But, give the brothers their due, they managed to deliver an astounding piece of work that finished the year as one of my favourite films and proved they are still full of surprises. As they often do, they like to switch from drama to comedy and, as a result, follow-up that dramatic work with the satirical Hail Caesar! Again, this was a film that never really peaked my interest but unlike their previous film, it didn’t work as well as it possibly could have. Continue reading

The Legend Of Barney Thomson

Posted in Comedy, Crime with tags on March 25, 2016 by Mark Walker

 
Director: Robert Carlyle.
Screenplay: Richard Cowan, Colin McLaren.
Starring: Robert Carlyle, Emma Thompson, Ray Winstone, Tom Courteney, Martin Compston, James Cosmo, Ashley Jensen, Stephen McCole, Kevin Guthrie, Samuel Robertson, Brian Pettifer.

“You’ve chopped them up. You’ve even labelled them”

Unless your a follower of the TV show Once Upon a Time (which I’m not) then you’ll probably have noticed the absence of actor Robert Carlyle from our film screens. The occasional low-key drama like California Solo in 2012 and Samantha Morton’s hard-hitting The Unloved in 2009 have surfaced here and there but they didn’t receive a wide release at all. In fact, I have yet to even see the former and Carlyle had a very small role in the latter (albeit a powerful one). You’d probably have to go as far back as 2007’s 28 Weeks Later to mention a film that a mainstream audience might be more familiar with. Now, though, he’s back. And back he comes to his hometown of Glasgow to make his directorial debut with a very Scottish-centric black comedy. Continue reading

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

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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

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