Tag Archives: comedy

Four Lions 4/5

Rather good comedy about something that i thought might be beyond comedy at the moment, the exploits of inept suicide bombers. I really wasn’t expecting it to be this good, and it’s a very British comedy to me, I wonder if it did well in places like America?

Hold That Ghost 3.5/5

A fun one from Abbott and Costello, and many of the routines in this one were redone a little more slickly in Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein 7 years later. This also benefits from some Andrews Sisters songs and some good comedy acting from Joan Davis.

Revenge of the Nerds 4/5

Revenge of the Nerds

This is a lot of fun (very dodgy gender politics aside…), and is so 80s, and the 80s is awesome. Some great characters, especially Booger and Pointdexter.

I’d forgotten Booger Presley too.

Funny to see a young John Goodman as the pushy coach too.

High Anxiety 3/5

High Anxiety

Not a great comedy, but it has its moments, and part of the fun is spotting the references to Hitchcock movies. Most of them are completely obvious, but there’s some more subtle ones, such as Marnie.

There was one scene that was a genuine comedy great moment though, when the nurse and the evil doctor are being shot, verite, from under a glass table, and they keep putting things on it, forcing the camera to keep moving. That was rather an excellent idea.

Sightseers 4/5

Sightseers

This is a second watch, and if anything it’s funnier the second time around. The hilarious deadpan, deadly pair go around the terrible attractions of the British countryside leaving a trail of death and destruction as they go, saying banal yet hilarious things.

This is my favourite Ben Wheatley movie, and I’m looking forward to what he produces next.

Stir Crazy 3/5

Stir Crazy

Reasonably engaging comedy with a few very good sections, and a lot of sections where there’s story but no laughs, in particular the last act. It is an enjoyable time though, and I particularly like the rather touching scene where the big bald guy everyone is scared of sings a plaintive version of Down in the Valley.

Convict 99 3.5/5

Convict 99

Another fun comedy with Will Hay, British music hall comic, and his assorted sidekicks. Here, he accidentally becomes a prison governor, and various shennanegins ensue. It’s a shame you rarely see goofy comedy like this these days, where a silly premise is grabbed and run with all the way to the end. I guess the Farelly brothers are the nearest contemporary equivalent.

Silver Streak 2/5

Rather dull comedy thriller that really doesn’t do either of those things. Jill Clayburgh is quite good as the everywoman attracted to Gene Wilder, but the comedy just feels mostly off through the whole thing, and the plot gets tiresome.

High point is seeing Richard Kiel doing a kind of tryout for Jaws in The Spy who Love me.

Comedy of Terrors 3.5/5

Comedy of Terrors

A goofy comedy about two inept, murderous undertakers played by Vincent Price and Peter Lorre, but also with Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff and Joe E Brown. They’re all hamming it up gloriously, and it’s a lot of fun.

I particularly like Price treating his hot wife like she’s repulsive.

Ask A Policeman 4/5

Ask A Policeman

This is a lot of fun, I’ve liked Will Hay comedies since I first saw them as a boy, and this one is solid, with snappy, amusing dialogue from the shady, but good-hearted, boys. Also with the wonderful Graham Moffatt and Moore Marriott.

This is a very British comedy, however, and I’m not sure it will travel well. It’s like an early prototype of the St Trinians movies, if that paints a picture.

King of the Zombies 1.5/5

King of the Zombies

Rather lame comedy horror from the 1940s that’s not funny or horrific. It also relies on racist stereotyping for its light relief, but the main comic relief does have some comic timing talent, but unfortunately his material is desperately poor. I did like he was supposed to be zombified, but continued acting normally, whilst accepting his fate as a zombie.

However, I didn’t get bored, and it was mercifully short.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa 3.5/5

Alan Partridge Alpha Papa

Reasonably funny and diverting comedy from the cringe-tastic Alan Partridge, that works well if you watch it in 2 or 3 servings, rather than one sitting – Partridge is definitely a characters that works better in several small doses than one big pigout.

Does this work overseas though? I think it’s a very British offering.

Super Troopers 3.5/5

Super Troopers

This isn’t bust a gut funny and there were long stretches where I didn’t laugh at all, but the characters and their shenanigans are charming and fun, and it’s rather enjoyable, and the third act actually improves its score but half a point.

Destry Rides Again 4.5/5

nullDestry Rides Again

Ridiculously good comedy Western from 1939, with James Stewart as the thoughtful Destry, and Marlene Dietrich showing you why she was such an inspiration for Lilly Von Schtupp in Blazing Saddles. A really well-written, excellently cast and funny oldschool comedy.

Aladdin 4.5/5

Aladdin

This is easily the second most funny Disney movie after The Emperor’s New Groove, but it does feel a little dated with some of Robin Williams topical references – I think everyone will recognise Jack Nicholson for years to come, but maybe not Rodney Dangerfield and Scorcese-esque De Niro – but the really good turns from the incidental comedy characters such as Iago, Abu and the carpet keep it cracking along at an excellent pace. There’s also some very creative ideas going on in the fast-paced sequences, such as the escape from the closing treasure-pit or the final fight.

Very enjoyable.

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason 3.5/5

Bridget Jones

Whilst not as good as the first movie, this is still pretty entertaining. Some of the side characters who had more depth in the first, and consigned to bit-parts only. It’s helped by the great central performance by Zellwegger, who I don’t think was ever better than as Bridget Jones. Hugh Grant is also marvellous as the bad boy character, and Firth is good in a very stuffy, stiff role (the role is right, that’s what the character is).

Your enjoyment does hinge on how much you like Zellwegger as Jones though.

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels + Snatch – 132

Snatch

Sam and Mark talk about a few movies and games watched/played since last time, and about Guy Ritchie’s first two commercial movies, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and Snatch

Land of the Lost 2.5/5

Land of the Lost

Very mildly amusing, and feels like you’re rushing through a much bigger story. Or seeing the edited highlights of a 6 hour miniseries. I guess they wanted to hit the main story points of the original TV series, but that’s just a guess.

However, it was kind of fun, if you have a high tolerance to a plot that snakes about wildly and doesn’t really settle. Also, the beginning and end segments, with Will Ferrell being interviewed as his character in a talk show, seemed more Ron Burgundy than this movie.

Down Periscope 3/5

Down Periscope

Whilst this is a lightweight comedy/drama, I found it a very satisfying and fun watch, and even felt I learned something about crewing in a submarine. The cast was good, in particular the crew – even Rob Schneider was okay in it. Definitely worth a watch.

Lesbian Vampire Killers 2.5/5

Lesbian Vampire Killers

Passably entertaining and benefitting from some good cinematography and sound design, and some quite great-looking ladies, giving it an old Hammer vibe, it could definitely have been funnier, but James Corden and Paul McGann as a potty-mouthed vicar and a not-too-long running time make it a reasonable, lightweight diversion.

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels 4.5/5

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Amazing debut from Guy Ritchie, who combines colourful characters and some dazzling camerawork with funny, highly-stylized dialogue. Even non-actors shine reasonably well in this (Lennie McLean and Vinnie Jones), and it’s cool to see some guys who I still enjoy seeing – specifically Jason Statham and Jason Flemyng – and whilst it does have rough spots and some sections that clearly have non actors in speaking roles, it trundles along nicely, guiding the viewer through the convoluted plot with a confident hand, and borrowing part from Tarantino’s snappy dialogue, part from an old British tradition of loveable rogues that stretch back to The Italian Job and on to old black and white comedy caper movies with Peter Sellers, Alistair Sim and Alec Guinness.

Marvellous.

Snatch 4.5/5

Snatch

Whilst Guy Ritchie’s directing career has been up and down (and I’m glad it’s now on the up, after his rather fine take on Sherlock Holmes), this reminds you why he deserves to still be in the game. Okay, there’s some overflashy visual flourishes, but we have a convoluted, multi-character story that sprawls all over, but Ritchie keeps is straight enough to follow, entertaining enough to keep you interested till the end, and shows us some rather good comedy-gangster monologues along the way.

THIS IS FUN.

Harold Ramis Special – Stripes, Vacation, Caddyshack – 131

Caddyshack

In this episode, Mark and Sam cover 3 movies directed, written and/or acted in by the late, great Harold Ramis. Plus a number of other movies we’ve watched since last time.

  • Ghost Rider
  • Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
  • David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive
  • Battle Beyond the Stars
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Kevin Smith: Burn in Hell
  • Treasure Planet
  • Trekkies
  • Stripes
  • National Lampoon’s Vacation
  • Caddyshack

Kevin Smith: Burn in Hell 3/5

Kevin Smith Burn in Hell

A Q and A with Kevin Smith of distinctly two halves. The first half (or more like, first hour) is pretty great, where he talks about his interaction with the Westboro Baptist Church, and the making of Red State. The last half hour is more to do with how he feels about art, his reasons for approaching movie making how he does now, and so on, and is nowhere near as entertaining. It is, however, from the heart.

Definitely worth seeing for that first hour, especially if you like Red State and/or other Kevin Smith Q and A’s.

Visit to a Small Planet 3/5

Visit to a small planet

Pretty good early Jerry Lewis movie, where there’s a distinct lack of mawkishness and plenty of goofy fun. The supporting cast is pretty good and energetic too, and there’s some nice touches, such as Jerry walking up a wall and across a ceiling, and some fun with a talking dog and cat.

charming.

Submarine 3/5

Submarine

Rather fine coming of age/emo drama that required a little patience to get used to during the first act, but actually quietly satisfying by the end.

Rather nice direction, sound, acting and script.

Caddyshack 4.5/5

Caddyshack

Superb comedy, so filled with gags and funny moments that it may just be the most rewatchable comedy ever.

Everyone’s really on form, from Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield and the fantastic Ted Knight.

When I watch this, I really try hard to disentangle the mighty nostalgia I had with it (this was a staple ‘watch a movie after the pub’ movie and I’ve seen it many, many times) for if it actually funny anyway, and I’ve concluded…nope, it’s not nostalgia, it’s just damned funny.

Gunga galoonga.

In The Loop 3.5/5

In The Loop

Rather fine comedy, and a successful transfer of the small-screen ‘the thick of it’ to a big screen version. It never really flags, and because it’s so fast and furious, it stays fresh for a rewatch.

Capaldi is brilliant in this.

National Lampoon’s Vacation 4/5

National Lampoon's Vacation

Very funny movie that started the Vacation series, which clearly peaked at Christmas Vacation.

The Griswalds are fully-developed characters from the off (well, Clark and Ellen anyway, the kids were always changing actors/ages), and it’s also fun to see Cousin Eddie also fully formed.

There are many laughs throughout, as mishap piles on mishap, and Chase starts acting crazy.

Great comedy writing from John Hughes, and great comedy direction from Harold Ramis.