REVIEW: Don’t Think Twice [2016]

“Your favorite bunch of weirdoes” The type of films that sting the most are the ones that are universal in emotion despite being niche in subject. So what if this tight-knit group of contemporaries championing each other’s work as they strive to improve their own are improv comedians selling out a fifty-seat theater in New York City and you’re a mechanic or barista or garbage collector or Fortune 500 CEO. It doesn’t matter what they or you do as long as we’re all human: fallible, petty, vulnerable, delusional, and somehow…

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INTERVIEW: Olivier Nakache, cowriter/codirector of Samba

Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano‘s (shown above at middle and right with Omar Sy) Intouchables was France’s Oscar hopeful in 2012 and did make the January shortlist. An infectious crowd-pleaser based on a true story, it vaulted Sy into stardom with a César win over The Artist‘s Jean Dujardin and ultimately co-staring roles in Hollywood blockbusters X-Men: Days of Future Past and Jurassic World. It most likely also opened a floodgate of offers for the duo at the helm, but these Frenchmen aren’t interested in bringing someone else’s vision to…

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REVIEW: Pitch Perfect 2 [2015]

“And there are the props” A surprise hit from 2012, Pitch Perfect was more than hype. It was good. Good enough for a sequel? Sure. I was excited to see what might happen until the trailer dropped. Boy did that thing look like a train wreck attempt at capturing lightning in a bottle by mimicking the original with supposedly higher stakes (but really just bigger scale/budget). Why deal with a capella at a collegiate level again when you can expand internationally? Because small was a proven success, that’s why. It…

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REVIEW: Björk: Biophilia Live [2014]

“If you feel like dancing, don’t stop yourself” Icelandic musician Björk has always been somewhat uncategorizable with a career that’s uniquely evolved to the beat of her own electronic drum. There was the infamous swan dress, her critically acclaimed foray into acting for Lars von Trier‘s Dancer in the Dark, collaborations with cutting edge artists like Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, and Chris Cunningham for memorably batty music videos, and the 2011 release of her eighth studio album as an iPad app. Partially recorded and composed on the device, Biophilia was…

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REVIEW: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy [2004]

“Rule number 1: No touching of the hair or face… AND THAT’S IT!” People have been telling me for almost a decade that Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy needs a second viewing to fully appreciate its genius. I’m happy to say they were correct. I watched it again last night and increased its score a whole point. That’s right, I still don’t get what you all do when it comes to writer/director Adam McKay and writer/star Will Ferrell’s first foray onto the big screen after collaborating on “Saturday Night…

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REVIEW: Hotel Transylvania [2012]

“What? Now there’s no sheep in the road.” After the abysmal failure of That’s My Boy, seeing Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg highlight another film’s marquee this year didn’t instill confidence. Cartoon or not, the pairing still left a sour taste in my mouth that the addition of their larger-than-life comedic buddies Kevin James, David Spade, and Molly Shannon did nothing to alleviate. Only the names behind the scenes gave me a sliver of hope that Hotel Transylvania could end up a fun hybrid of writers Robert Smigel (“SNL’s” TV…

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REVIEW: Grandma’s Boy [2006]

“Sweetie, don’t curse. You’re better than that.” Looking at the list of films Happy Madison Productions has made since 2006, I can honestly say dramatic oddities Reign Over Me and Funny People prove to be the only entries more watchable than the unbridled insanity of Grandma’s Boy. And this is coming from someone who ignored the comedy for six years before watching it less than a week after the excruciatingly horrible That’s My Boy almost forced me to swear off Adam Sandler‘s shingle once and for all. It’s stupid, crude,…

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REVIEW: That’s My Boy [2012]

“Secret tickle time” Just when you thought Adam Sandler had hit bottom and could only improve upon a lackluster string of film’s that have to make you question the quality of his earlier gems, he proves it can always get worse. From Sean Anders (the director of Sex Drive) and David Caspe (creator of “Happy Endings”) comes one of the most unoriginal comedies in years. Recycling the ‘disastrous wedding’ trope that I’m sad to say was actually done better in Meet the Parents—a film I also abhor—we’re made to watch…

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REVIEW: The Dictator [2012]

“Where’s the trashcan?” After starring in three films and on television in two countries by engaging unwitting audiences in a guerilla-style ambush of often cruel and lewd comedy proving he hadn’t a shred of modesty, Sacha Baron Cohen‘s days of anonymity have officially ended. Utilizing many of the same collaborators behind the scenes as his last few creative endeavors, The Dictator exists inside a fully scripted world because the Englishman’s antics have become too widely documented. Gone are the days when a ‘supreme beard’ could hide his identity from an…

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REVIEW: Fletch [1985]

“Jesus H. Christ on a popsicle stick” Being someone who never quite understood the appeal of Chevy Chase until his wonderful return to show business with television’s “Community”, it’s no surprise I never caught up with his more famous role in Fletch. Always finding an off-putting smugness where I was supposed to enjoy deadpan sarcasm, the urge to punch him in the face rather than laugh has lingered over the years. Sure, I enjoyed him in smaller roles like Caddyshack and have fond childhood memories of Funny Farm despite not…

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REVIEW: Ghostbusters [1984]

“Back off man. I’m a scientist.” With all the recent talk about a third installment/reboot of the franchise, it’s not hard to forget how timeless the original Ghostbusters actually is. Rumors swirl and Bill Murray’s soundbytes mislead almost monthly now, but all you need to revisit the comical science fiction stylings of a paranormal-infused New York City is to pop open your DVD case and let the magic crescendo through Ray Parker Jr.’s classic theme. It’s even easier when Sony decides to re-release the film in select cities across the…

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