Tag Archives: Comedy

Wonder Boys

UNDEPENDABLE. UNPREDICTABLE. UNFORGETTABLE. Pittsburgh university professor Grady Tripp (Michael Douglas) teaches creative writing while desperately trying to finish the follow-up novel to the book that made him famous; one of his students (Tobey Maguire) is peculiar and brilliant… Curtis Hanson followed the success of L.A. Confidential (1997) with this dramedy set in a wet and … Continue reading Wonder Boys

Baby Driver: Delivering for Doc

ALL YOU NEED IS ONE KILLER TRACK.  Director Edgar Wright had been thinking about making this movie for two decades before it finally happened. Those who know their Wright oeuvre might recognize the basic idea from a music video he made in 2003, ”Blue Song” for Mint Royale, featuring the British comedian Noel Fielding as … Continue reading Baby Driver: Delivering for Doc

The Thin Man: Cocktails and a Mystery

A LAUGH TOPS EVERY THRILLING MOMENT! When William Powell arrived on his first day on the set of this film, he was going to shoot the scene where his character Nick Charles would be introduced to audiences. It takes place in a bar and director W.S. Van Dyke gave Powell a cocktail shaker and told … Continue reading The Thin Man: Cocktails and a Mystery

Notting Hill

CAN THE MOST FAMOUS FILM STAR IN THE WORLD FALL FOR JUST AN ORDINARY GUY? The most popular movie star in Hollywood (Julia Roberts) meets a London book-store owner (Hugh Grant) and they fall in love… but can a romance like that work out? Writer Richard Curtis reunited with his Four Weddings and a Funeral … Continue reading Notting Hill

The Truman Show: Before Big Brother

ON THE AIR. UNAWARE. There’s an episode of Twilight Zone, the 1980s revival, called ”Special Service” that aired in 1989. Written by J. Michael Straczynski who later created the sci-fi classic Babylon 5, the episode tells the story of a man who discovers that his whole life is a reality show on TV; even his … Continue reading The Truman Show: Before Big Brother

Life of Brian: In Christ’s Shadow

A MOTION PICTURE DESTINED TO OFFEND NEARLY TWO THIRDS OF THE CIVILIZED WORLD. AND SEVERELY ANNOY THE OTHER THIRD. Modern audiences are not likely to find Monty Python’s most controversial film terribly daring or blasphemous. But back in 1979 it was a big deal. Several British town councils banned it, and so did a few … Continue reading Life of Brian: In Christ’s Shadow

Despicable Me 3

OH BROTHER. After failing to capture a former child actor turned supervillain, Gru and Lucy are fired from the Anti-Villain League… but then they meet Gru’s long-lost twin brother Dru. Another contrived sequel in this series, but one that’s very hard to dislike, right from the hilarious opening chase. Steve Carell is clearly having fun … Continue reading Despicable Me 3

Adaptation: The Truth About Charlie

FROM THE CREATOR OF BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, COMES THE STORY ABOUT THE CREATOR OF BEING JOHN MALKOVICH.  In 1994, Jonathan Demme bought the rights to journalist Susan Orlean’s book ”The Orchid Thief”, where she investigated the arrest of John Laroche who was dealing illegally in rare plants. Neither she nor Demme could have predicted what … Continue reading Adaptation: The Truth About Charlie

Baywatch

BEACHES AIN’T READY.  This big-screen take on the corny 1989-2001 TV series goes for raunchy gags and waterlogged action, failing to impress in both instances. Dwayne Johnson inherits the old David Hasselhoff part as Mitch, the veteran among a crew of Florida lifeguards; when a poorly motivated former Olympic swimmer (Zac Efron) shows up for … Continue reading Baywatch

Mortdecai

SOPHISTICATION HAS A NAME. Lord Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp), an art dealer and swindler who owes the U.K. government a lot of money, reluctantly agrees to help inspector Alistair Martland (Ewan McGregor) find a stolen Goya painting. This adaptation of a novel that’s part of a popular series of comic thrillers was maligned by critics … Continue reading Mortdecai