Category Archives: Comedy

I Love You, Daddy

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Release Date: September 9, 2017 (Toronto International Film Festival)
Screened: September 9, 2017 (Toronto International Film Festival)
Runtime: 123 minutes
Rating: No Rating Yet (it will be R for language, I’m willing to bet)
Studio: None (self-financed by Louis C.K.)
Director: Louis C.K.
Cast: Louis C.K.; Chloë Grace Moretz; Charlie Day; John Malkovich; Rose Byrne; Edie Falco; Pamela Adlon; Helen Hunt; Ebonee Noel

Louis C.K. produces and films a movie under the cloak of secrecy from Hollywood and it proves to be a big, fun, surprisingly poignant treatise on the modern relationship between parent and child. Continue reading

The 4th Man

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Release Date: March 24, 1983
Runtime: 102 minutes
Rating: Unrated (closer to R)
Studio: International Spectrafilm / Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Cast: Jeroen Krabbé; Renée Soutendijk; Thom Hoffman; Dolf de Vries; Geert de Jong

It’s only fitting that a movie review site called The 4th Reel review a movie called “The 4th Man,” so here goes!

A virtual blueprint for his later, more mainstream potboiler “Basic Instinct,” “The 4th Man” exhibits all of the elements of director Paul Verhoeven’s mode of outrageous storytelling that has made him one of the most audacious film directors working today.

This one is stamped Verhoeven all-around: the icy blonde, the tortured author, the lethal dagger, the bisexuality, the fast cars….there are so many parallels to “Basic Instinct” (one of my all-time favorite movies, by the way) that they’re difficult to count. It’s almost as though he saw in “BI” an opportunity to make an even more outlandish version of “The 4th Man.” I loved it…loved every twisted, depraved minute of it. Continue reading

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

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Release Date: July 22, 2016
Runtime: 90 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Fox Searchlight
Director: Mandie Fletcher
Cast: Jennifer Saunders; Joanna Lumley; Jane Horrocks; Julia Sawalha; June Whitfield; Chris Colfer; Celia Imrie; Kathy Burke

This movie is a love letter to the fans, plain and simple. While it is possible to enjoy the madness as an “Ab Fab” virgin, the experience will be greatly heightened if you have followed the misadventures of Patsy and Eddie for at least some of their (non-consecutive) seven-year run on television. Continue reading

Trainwreck

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Release Date: July 17, 2015
Runtime: 125 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Judd Apatow
Cast: Amy Schumer; Bill Hader; Colin Quinn; John Cena; Dave Attell; Tilda Swinton;
LeBron James; Brie Larson

Amy Schumer bulldozes her way onto the big screen playing a magnified version of her women-are-just-as-raunchy-as-men comedic persona in ‘Trainwreck.’ Schumer (who also wrote the screenplay) is a natural performer and going on the basis of her debut as a leading lady, we will be seeing lots more of her in years to come. That is a good thing. That is a very good thing. Continue reading

Bedtime Stories

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Release Date: December 25, 2008
Runtime: 99 minutes
Rating: PG
Studio: Disney
Director: Adam Shankman
Cast: Adam Sandler; Keri Russell; Courteney Cox; Russell Brand; Guy Pearce; Teresa Palmer; Richard Griffiths; Lucy Lawless

A frothy, family-friendly entertainment that is lively enough for the kids and easy-to-swallow for the adults. Continue reading

The Blubber Files – Movie Endings Guaranteed to Turn You Into A Blubberin’ Mess

Herein lie my top seven movie selections that are guaranteed to grease the ol’ tear ducts (at least they greased MY tear ducts and this is MY blog, so….). Unless you are made of stone, there’s a pretty darn good chance that whether you are old or young, male or female, emotion will take over and the blubbering will begin. Of course, if you’re anything like me, blubbering will turn to downright water works in no time.

DISCLAIMER: This post contains pretty explicit spoilers (we are talking about movie endings here, duh!). As much as I would love to link to the videos of these particular scenes themselves, alas, I am not the copyright owner to any of these movies. Do you think if I held the copyright to ‘Titanic’ I’d be sitting in a coffee shop writing a blog post and not livin’ large in Ibiza?!?! The good news is a cursory search online will turn up these scenes with little to no difficulty.

Taxi zum Klo

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Release Date: January 9, 1981
Runtime: 98 minutes
Rating: NR – Adults Only
Studio: Exportfilm Bischoff & Company
Director: Frank Ripploh
Cast: Frank Ripploh; Bernd Broaderup; Peter Fahrni

This is an interesting piece for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it is notable for being a pioneering film for gay cinema. Released in 1981, “Tazi zum Klo” (Take Me to the Toilet” in German…nice), was a fairly mainstream movie, one that could never be made today, at least not without being labeled as out-and-out porn. Secondly, it showcased the sometimes blissful, sometimes complex relationship between two gay men in pre-AIDS, early 80’s West Berlin. One must not forget that at that time, it was somewhat shocking and definitely controversial to show two men, not only in a sexual relationship, but in ANY emotionally binding relationship. Thirdly, the lack of modesty of the main character: writer, director, star, Frank Ripploh. This film is clearly an exorcism of demons for this guy and he holds nothing back in chronicling his life for us. He is unapologetic for his rather hedonistic lifestyle and wants us to join him in this journey. In fact, the first words spoken in the film are, “Do you want to come cruising with me? Good.” Continue reading

Rock of Ages

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Release Date: June 15, 2012
Runtime: 123 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Studio: Warner Bros. / New Line Cinema
Director: Adam Shankman
Cast: Julianne Hough; Diego Boneta; Alec Baldwin; Russell Brand; Paul Giamatti; Catherine Zeta-Jones; Bryan Cranston; Malin Akerman; Mary J. Blige; Tom Cruise

The Broadway musical upon which this movie is based, while not great art by any stretch, is better. Period. Adam Shankman’s adaptation of the hit jukebox musical that’s been rockin’ the Helen Hayes Theatre for years, has style and some fun performances, but this show really doesn’t translate well to film. I think the main reason is this: these songs (“Don’t Stop Believin,’” “Sister Christian,” “We’re Not Gonna Take It”) are the types of rock anthems that are best heard live, blaring through speakers at deafening decibels, sung by singers who look like their vocal chords are about to pop out of their necks! Continue reading

The Wolf of Wall Street

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Release Date: December 25, 2013
Runtime: 180 minutes
Rating: very, very R
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio; Jonah Hill; Matthew McConaughey; Margot Robbie; Rob Reiner; Kyle Chandler; Jon Bernthal; Jean Dujardin; Joanna Lumley; Ethan Suplee

Jordan Belfort’s helluva story comes to life guns blazing in director Martin Scorsese’s epic account of greed, sex, drugs, excess…all the good stuff. Leonardo DiCaprio gives a ferocious performance that in the hands of a lesser actor could have gone right off the rails into camp territory. Less showy in terms of camerawork and style than other Scorsese pictures, “The Wolf of Wall Street” nonetheless maintains a quick pace (much like the heartbeats that most of the main characters must have had in real life if the drug use in this story is accurate) despite a three-hour running time, and energetic and dedicated performances from all of the actors. Kudos to all for keeping it up (pun definitely intended)! Continue reading

Her

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Release Date: December 18, 2013 (limited); January 10, 2014 (wide)
Runtime: 126 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Spike Jonze
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix; Scarlett Johansson (voice); Amy Adams; Chris Pratt; Rooney Mara

This one was a total surprise! My expectations were low: another self-consciously quirky Spike Jonze movie with resident Hollywood oddball, Joaquin Phoenix. And while this movie is definitely left-of-center, it is also quite possibly, the most heartfelt and truly tender movies I’ve seen in ages. Continue reading