Category Archives: Comedy

Dope

Bill C’s Review – 4 out of 5

Dope tells the story of Malcolm and his two nerdy friends (Jib and Diggy) as they navigate their senior year of high school.  They live in the ‘Bottoms’ in Englewood, California.  Both are good students (Malcolm is hoping to get into Harvard), are behind the times as they  love the ‘golden age ‘ of hip-hop (1988-2001), and have their own hip-hop band called Awreeoh (sound it out).  Generally they do not fit in and are bullied.

This is sort of a coming-of-age movie for Malcolm.  He and his  friends attend a party and get involved in things they usually avoid.  They then spend most of the movie trying to extricate themselves from the problems they’ve gotten into.  This is a pretty funny movie (although not all of the bits are successful).

This film isn’t for everyone due to the inner city setting, but I liked it.  If you go, stay through the credits for Malcolm’s dance routine.

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

maxresdefault

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Bill C’s Review – 3.5 out of 5

Kingsman: The Secret Service is a joyful spoof of Bond genre films and  is directed by Matthew Vaughn.  Vaughn successfully spoofed superhero movies a few years ago with Kick Ass.

The film is very entertaining with good action and lots of laughs.   Like Kick Ass or Kill Bill, there is a ton of violence  which may offend some.  The plot isn’t the most exciting, but fits right in with Bond spoofs. Samuel L. Jackson is the megalomaniac villain (who can’t stomach watching violence).  Colin Firth does a good job as the Bond-type spy and Taron Egerton is very likable as the young spy trainee.  There are no real ‘Bond’ girls, but dancer Sofia Boutella is great as the villain’s deadly hench-person

If you like Bond spoofs, Kick Ass or Kill Bill, check this movie out.

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

kingsman-05-gallery-image

Mood Indigo

Bill C’s Review – 1 out of 5

Mood Indigo is the latest directorial effort by Michel Gondry, the director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This is a VERY quirky, special-effect-loaded with romance.  Usually I’m into quirky stuff, but this did not do it for me.

The quirkiness and special effects were interesting at the beginning, but as the movie wore on they became tiresome and distracted from the plot.  Towards the middle, I lost interest and was wishing I had chosen another movie.  The end should have carried an emotional wallop, but due to all the diversions, it came off flat for me.

My guess is there will be lots of folks that love this movie, but I was not one of them. This film is in French with subtitles.

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

mood-indigo

Guardians of the Galaxy

Bill C’s Review – 4.25 out of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy is joy to watch. It’s a  Marvel based super hero movie with lots of humor, great energy and music and with  good action.

A toned Chris Pratt from Parks and Recreation is the excellent lead of a good cast that includes Zoe Saldana and the voice work of Vin Deisel (‘I am Groot’) and Bradley Cooper.  This is a lesser know Marvel set of unique characters and  it includes a super hero tree and fox but the filmmakers definitely made it work.

I did not see the 3D version so  I don’t know if that adds anything.  As with seemingly all Marvel comics this had an extra scene at the end but there were a lot of credits so you need to decide for yourself whether it’s worth the wait.  After Boyhood this has been my favorite movie this summer.

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

index

22 Jump Street

Bill C’s Review – 4 out of 5

22 Jump Street is the sequel to 21 Jump Street starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum graduating  from cops going undercover as high school students to cops going undercover as college students.

The sequel is almost as funny as the first.  The movie doesn’t take itself seriously so they feel free to make fun of everything from the absurdity of them pretending to be college students to film sequels to their own film persona. Some of the humor doesn’t quite hit the mark, but a lot does.

The film has a bunch of cameos cameos and you should stick around during the closing credits. If you liked the first one, you’ll definitely like this. But  it’s not necessary to have seen the original to enjoy this above-average comedy.

Bill I’s Review – 3.5 out of 5

I really enjoyed this, even better than 21 Jump Street from what I can recall.  It’s over the top and nuts in some scenes with not much down time between the laughs. Bill mentioned the closing credits….they are as funny as anything, and at the very end there’s a 3 second funny bit. Ice Cube has a real good scene where he goes ballistic. Channing Tatum is so good, and of course Jonah Hill never disappoints. Perfect summer fun film!

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

22-Jump-Street-2

Obvious Child

Bill C’s Review – 3 out of 4

Obvious Child is an entertaining romantic comedy.  Jenny Slate plays Donna Stern, a stand-up comedian who gets dumped, loses her day job,  gets pregnant and decides to have an abortion.  Slate, whose claim to fame before this movie was saying the F-word on her Saturday Night Live debut (before not being brought back the next year), does a great job showing a range of emotions as she tries to get her life together.

The movie is funny, while also dealing with tough emotional issues.  The film has a good supporting cast of most unknowns playing her mother, best friend,  and new beau.

The film dealt with the topic of abortion from where Donna was with her life and what was best for her, and didn’t feel preachy to me. But if you’re strongly (or maybe even moderately) pro-life, this movie is probably not for you, but others might enjoy it.

Bill I’s Review – 3 out of 4

I enjoyed this film. Jenny Slate is naturally interesting, and plays very very well a young woman who combines aspects of intelligence, ambition, laziness, incredible candor and courage, of course humor and personality, as well as a lack of fortitude to confront her problems head on.  Most of the movie I felt like I was waiting for something to happen, but this is more of a slice of life, albeit during a time when she has to make a tough choice, as Bill described above.

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

obvious-child

Million Dollar Arm

Bill I’s Review – 3.5 out of 5

I loved it. Great story, based on real-life events, of a sports agent holding a nationwide contest in India to find a couple of cricket players who could throw a baseball with “juice” (i.e. fast and accurate), awarding them with a trip to the US to get professional training and a major league tryout. Jon Hamm is pretty perfect as the down on his luck agent, kind of like a 2008 version of Don Draper gone out on his own: arrogant, but with likable potential if he slows down from his fast track business focus enough to appreciate the people around him. The scenes in India give just enough local flavor to keep it interesting, while the secondary characters stand out, especially Alan Arkin as the jaded scout, Bill Paxton as the coach Tom House, and Pitobash as the volunteer translator and gofer who’s got big baseball ambitions but tiny stature. Lake Bell is good as the tenant neighbor love interest and wise voice of reason, while the two potential pitchers are realistically quiet and intimidated by the fish out of water experience, and end up doing a realistic version of pitching so it doesn’t look like typical Hollywood actors trying to be athletes. Finally, I must mention that the film was inspired by my college friend, Will Chang, who in real life funded the contest and helped initiate the film. The character that portrays “Mr. Chang” is quite harsh, which is very unlike Will in real life, so I assume they needed it for dramatic impact. Some critics have called the film corny and boring. I agree it’s no Jerry McGuire, and no Slumdog Millionaire, but it’s very enjoyable and I was never bored. Bring kids of all ages and you will have fun.

 

Chef

Bill C’s Review – 3.5 out of 5

I originally reviewed this  back in March when I saw this at SXSW.  It opens this weekend (at least in Austin).

Chef is a small indie effort written, directed and starring Jon Favreau.  It’s not up there with Swingers but is a  light hearted comedy about a high profile, stressed out chef who loses his job and goes back to discover the basics that made him happy by opening a food truck and reconnecting with his son and family.

The movie picks up and is more entertaining and touching  in the 2nd half when he, his son and friend go on a road trip in the food truck.  This had a great cast (Favreau,  Jon Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman,  Sofia Vergara, Oliver Platt, Robert Downey Jr. and more).   The kid who plays Favreau’s son did a great job and helps give the movie it’s heart.

About 10 minutes of the movie was shot in several spots in Austin (Franklin’s, SoCo and others).  If you’re looking for something other than Godzilla or X-Men give this one a try.

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

chef_movie_still

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Bill C’s Review  – 4 out of 5

The Grand Budapest Hotel is the latest quirky, highly-stylized comedy from Wes Anderson.  He is one of the few filmmakers that can be identified by watching just a few frames from his films.  His films are visually stunning through his use of colors, the way he tracks people and action, and his stylistic use of special effects.

For those not familiar with Anderson, he is the director of The Royal Tenenbaums, Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, and Moonrise Kingdom—all really good movies, with The Royal Tenenbaums being my favorite.

The Grand Budapest Hotel  is more of a dark comedy starring Ralph Fiennes as M. Gustav, the head concierge in a central European hotel during the dark days before a fictionalized version of WWII  as seen through the eyes of the new lobby boy, Zero.  The plot deals with the murder of one of the frequent hotel guests, the search for the murderer (after M. Gustav is accused) and a priceless painting, and the friendship between M. Gustav and Zero. While this is not continuously laugh-out-loud funny, it is funny throughout even though it’s also a bit sad/melancholy at the end.

As usual with Wes Anderson films, there is a large ensemble cast, including many Anderson regulars such as Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, Edward Norton, and Owen Wilson.

Wes Anderson fans should definitely see this movie, and if you’ve never seen one of his films, you should give him a try.

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

The Grand Budapest Hotel

About Last Night

Bill I’s Review – 3 out of 5

Two buddies (funny, manic Kevin Hart and the more subdued Michael Ealy, fresh from his robot role in Almost Human on TV) meet two chick buddies (Regina Hall, right up to par in funny and manic-ness with Kevin, and Joy Bryant, the similarly subdued counterpart) and pair off, with predictable ups and downs and a (non-spoiler alert) nice happy ending. It’s not the plot that makes it an enjoyable film, rather the characters, and surprisingly the realness of the relationship between the couples. OK, not much realness between the crazy couple, but they are good for laughs amid the wild romps in bed.

Joy Bryant was a revelation to me; with her stunning beauty she steals the scenes she’s in, although I felt the tension between the two was somewhat artificial given how well they paired off. While it didn’t seem phony, I just wanted to slap Ealy’s character. A good date movie and I would certainly call it a chick flick. Good one to see paired with Non-Stop to get the testosterone going after this estrogen fest.