Blog Archives

Clue DVD (Just For The Hell Of It)

This for me is the best film of Tim Curry’s career. His performance as Wadsworth, the butler of Hill House herding the guests of a dinner party turned murder scene is one of the most frenetic examples of scene stealing I’ve ever seen. Even ammongst all the screaming, intentional over the top acting and insanity, Curry stands out as the star performer. That doesn’t mean that the other performers are slouches. Each one of the actors portraying the guests at the mysterious dinner party play their part with comic skill not often seen in today’s comedy films.

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Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Tucker & Dale vs Evil

If there has been one genre that Hollywood has been unable to really churn out lately it’s solid original comedy. This year it seemed the only comedy that was liked by both critics and mainstream audiences was Bridesmaids, other than that we’ve had a string of mildly amusing, but sadly forgettable films. Romantic comedies have also been big this year with Crazy, Stupid, Love and Friends with Benefits, but again not really general comedies. In unfortunately limited release comes a solid entry into the lacking comedy genre this weekend with first time writer-director Eli Craig and co-writer Morgan Jurgenson bringing us Tucker & Dale vs Evil and just in time for Halloween.

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Tucker & Dale vs Evil

If there has been one genre that Hollywood has been unable to really churn out lately it’s solid original comedy. This year it seemed the only comedy that was liked by both critics and mainstream audiences was Bridesmaids, other than that we’ve had a string of mildly amusing, but sadly forgettable films. Romantic comedies have also been big this year with Crazy, Stupid, Love and Friends with Benefits, but again not really general comedies. In unfortunately limited release comes a solid entry into the lacking comedy genre this weekend with first time writer-director Eli Craig and co-writer Morgan Jurgenson bringing us Tucker & Dale vs Evil and just in time for Halloween.

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Youth in Revolt

Cera grows a mustache despite the rumors.

Young men will always in their innocence believe that they can make a difference; that they can make their own mark in this world.  Youth in Revolt is a traditional coming of age film with a familiar twist; the nice guy trying not to finish last.  Read the rest of this entry

Up in the Air (Lil Devil)

This is a tough time in America’s history. Recession means bankruptcy, and unemployment runs rampant as factories close and their roles are filled overseas. Unlike anyone else in the country, for Ryan Bingham, these are the glory days. His job is traveling to and fro between just about every city or town on the map, and giving loyal workers the professional boot. Many stories concern those who walk “the road less traveled”; Bingham takes that road, along with several thousand more. He doesn’t relish this task; he’s like the garbageman, only the garbage asks him how he sleeps at night. What he does relish is the act of flying itself, as he feels more at home in the airport terminal than the address on his driver’s license (which I suspect he doesn’t have or need). This is a one-of-a-kind character, in a one-of-a-kind movie. The movie is Up in the Air, directed by Jason Reitman and starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick, and it’s one trip well worth undertaking. Read the rest of this entry

Slammin’ Salmon (Lil Devil)

Slammin’ Salmon is the latest comedy by the Broken Lizard crew. They’re the guys behind Super Troopers and Beerfest. Not as raunchy or out there as their earlier movies, Salmon is still a fun movie. Read the rest of this entry

The Men Who Stare At Goats (Devil’s Advocate)

In the 70’s and 80’s, the U.S. Army did research into the paranormal as part of a possible program to train psychic spies to beat the Ruskies. It was largely unsuccessful, but some elements did reach the American public, such as the use of the theme to Barney the Dinosaur in torture methods. This is the story of one man’s search for those behind this movement, and where they are now. At least, this is the premise of The Men Who Stare at Goats, directed by Grant Heslov and starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey. It’s not the sharpest of comedies, especially when it attempts to satirize the war in Iraq, but when it utilizes its own absurdity and the deadpan seriousness of its performances, it definitely has its moments. Read the rest of this entry

Zombieland (Devil’s Advocate Review)

Set in an alternate universe, in the United States, it seems the world has been over-run by a virus that turns people into mindless zombies. Via receiving a bite from an infected, the bitten victim then succumbs and in turn, becomes a zombie themselves, causing a ripple effect where as the ratio of infected to non-infected, staggers heavily toward infected. Simple zombie ethics imply that they hunger for flesh, can only be stopped by fatal blows to the head and brain. Other than being short of intelligent, the zombies are attracted to sounds, lights & disturbances. Read the rest of this entry

Director Spotlight: The Trouble With Harry

As everyone knows Alfred Hitchcock is the all time great, master of comedy.  It’s his trademark.  The man is all about the guffaws.  Didn’t you see The Birds?  Hilarious stuff.   I am not ashamed to say, that going into this particular spotlight, that I had no clue Alfred Hitchcock had ever done a comedy (actually he had done a couple comedies, and other suspense films with comedic undertones). 

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Director Spotlight: M*A*S*H

If you watch Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H, in the credits the title of the film has no asterisks.  If you look at original ads and posters for the film, the little buggers make a cameo.  Apparently they’re on the cutting room floor, but I’ve decided to give them their proper due.

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Funny People

Funny People tries very hard to take three groups of people, and make them all like the same movie. Those who loved Knocked Up, people who like movies, and people who still listen to Adam Sandler’s Lunch Lady Land while driving in their cars. It however did not achieve that goal.

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Funny People (Devil’s Advocates Review)

Judd Apatow is back with his third film at the director’s helm, though if you asked the average moviegoer they would tell you he does eight films a year (I’m pretty sure that’s what Tyler Perry averages, however), since you see his name attached to so many projects.  How does this film hold up to the masterfully done 40 Year Old Virgin and the riotously funny Knocked Up?

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500 Days of Summer

Yes, I am cheating again.  Soon people will wonder why we even have the Devil’s Advocate stipulations for reviewing movies if we’re not going to follow them.   Well, I reviewed multiple films this week so I’m giving myself a pass.

500 Days of Summer is a cautionary tale.  The moral of the story?  Don’t date cool, interesting people.  They always wind up way too cool and interesting to stay with you.  Actually, if anything, the film warns against building your life around a relationship, versus simply building your life.  And it turns out that this is a powerful and effective message.

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Bruno (Lonely Devil Review)

I am giving the full frontal, Devil’s Advocate review of Bruno.  That’s right, I’m putting what I really thought at the front of the review and then doing the full DA critique to follow.  Why…what did you think I meant?

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Director Spotlight: A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy

Going from Annie Hall to A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy is like going from Crème Brûlée to a Little Debbie’s Snack Cake.  Both are enticing treats, but one…well, it’s Crème Brûlée.

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