Tampopo is a Food Lover’s Paradise Feb17

Tampopo is a Food Lover’s Paradise

Overview: A trucker and his wild connections dedicate their time to helping a woman create the perfect bowl of ramen. Toho; 1985; Not Rated; 114 minutes. Open Wide: Hailed as a ramen western, Jûzô Itami’s Tampopo charmed North American viewers with its veritable smorgasbord of genres and its lighthearted charm after Roger Ebert praised it in 1987. Recently The Criterion Collection and Janus Films put out a restored print so the film could be enjoyed once again in theatres after several decades. Tampopo tells the story of, well, Tampopo (Nobuko Miyamoto) a young widow who struggles to create the quality of food she knows she has within...

Wayne’s World 25th Anniversary: It DoesnR...

You can quote the hell out of Wayne’s World. The movie is a catchphrase factory. In its every scene, the script co-authored by the movie’s star Mike Myers, who made his big screen debut in the now-iconic comedy, presents at least one famous snippet of dialogue. Wayne’s World introduced or popularized quite the collection of quotes within the pop culture lexicon—some that are still in currency (“We’re not worthy!” and “That’s what she said…”), others that have lost their value (“Ass sphincter says what?” and “Ex-squeeze me? Baking powder?”), and still others that feel as if maybe they missed  widespread circulation the first time through...

How I Met Your Mother: The Imperfect Love Story Feb14

How I Met Your Mother: The Imperfect Love Story

It’s been about three years since showrunners Craig Thomas and Carter Bays treated viewers to the finale of their nearly decade-long sitcom, How I Met Your Mother. The series, which focuses on Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) recounting to his children the many events that led up to his first encounter with their mother, grew in popularity as Ted’s fictional journey to meet “the One” grew ever more lonely and desperate. The following the series brought in could be attributed to audiences’ attachment to Ted’s story (possibly due to the similar popularity of heartwarming rom-coms of the 2000s), or to the series’ biggest star, Barney Stinson (Neil...

Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn Get Snatched in First Trailer Feb07

Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn Get Snatched in First ...

Here’s our first look at Amy Schumer’s continuing rise to movie stardom in Jonathan Levine’s (50/50, The Night Before) Snatched. Official Synopsis: After her boyfriend dumps her on the eve of their exotic vacation, impetuous dreamer Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) persuades her ultra-cautious mother, Linda (Goldie Hawn) to travel with her to paradise. Polar opposites, Emily and Linda realize that working through their differences as mother and daughter – in unpredictable, hilarious fashion – is the only way to escape the wildly outrageous jungle adventure they have fallen into. I think by now everyone has an...

10 Times Dave Chappelle Was Right About Everything Feb01

10 Times Dave Chappelle Was Right About Everything

When Dave Chappelle walked away from Chappelle’s Show after just three seasons, leaving a fifty million dollar deal on the table, he created a narrative. Prior to his abrupt two-week getaway to South Africa, Chappelle was more than just the man of the moment, his show was more than just the most popular on Comedy Central, arguably the most popular of all time and inarguably its most important. Chappelle was the mediator of an unprecedented cultural conversation about race, inequality, and deeply-sown institutional injustice. Every week, Chappelle and his troupe managed to sit an interracial audience in numbers that were outstanding...

A Series of Unfortunate Events is a Very Funny Drama Jan31

A Series of Unfortunate Events is a Very Funny Dra...

It’s not often that you get a second chance to see something you love adapted for the screen. Usually you get one shot, and if it’s bad then that’s it. You’re left with a novel or series of novels you love and a movie you dislike. Unless, that is, the source material you like is Spider-Man comics, in which case it seems as though you get unlimited attempts. With A Series of Unfortunate Events, it seemed as though the 2004 movie was the only filmed version we would get of Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket’s fantastic series of books. There are things to like about the movie. The cast is great and it looks correct but there are changes and tweaks...

Netflix Hidden Gem #96: Lace Crater

Lace Crater Directed By: Harrison Atkins Genre : Comedy Invincible Pictures Synopsis: A woman develops a mysterious illness after meeting a strange figure in a friend’s coach house. Overview: Lace Crater is a weird little film. It views like something a friend has made, and because of that, it seems like your friends are in it. A standard group of mid to late 20-somethings are headed to The Hamptons for the weekend. Someone’s parents have a place there and they’re just going to chill out and do some molly, drink some Pabst, and maybe get laid. Where some horror movies point to drugs as the axis for trouble, this group has it all safely...

Netflix Hidden Gem #94: Cheap Thrills

Cheap Thrills (2014) Director: E.L. Katz Genre: Comedy Drafthouse Films Synopsis: A down-on-his-luck, wannabe writer struggling to scrounge up enough money to keep his wife and infant child off the streets comes across a childhood friend and a pair of deranged good samaritans. Overview: Cheap Thrills is a wildly subversive independent comedy in the same vein as the very best theatrical works of Bobcat Goldthwait. Serving as the directorial debut for E.L. Katz, Cheap Thrills stars two of the most under-appreciated character actors of the past twenty-plus years. As former high school friends Craig Daniels and Vince, Pat Healy and Ethan Embry...

Netflix Hidden Gem #93: The Parent Trap

The Parent Trap (1961) Director: David Swift Genre: Comedy Buena Vista Distribution When The Parent Trap was released nationwide in June of 1961, love and marriage were on our minds. Life Magazine that week featured a cover touting “Weddings Worldwide” in its pages and in the White House a young family was seemingly living out our ever-after daydreams. June 21 was a Wednesday (it will be in 2017, too) and, if astrology is your thing, this was all taking place under the zodiac sign, Gemini—the twins. All of this is to say that it was a pretty auspicious time for Disney to release a movie starring a singular Hayley Mills as long-separated...

Monster Trucks is Harmless Children’s Entertainment Jan16

Monster Trucks is Ha...

Overview: A subterranean creature befriends a high school senior and gives his truck the upgrade of a lifetime. Paramount Pictures; 2017; Rated PG; 104 minutes. For Kids: When it comes to children entertainment, the “it’s for kids” claim shouldn’t be an excuse for poor filmmaking qualities....

Red Dog: True Blue is Heartwarming Family Fare  Jan13

Red Dog: True Blue i...

Overview: The story of a boy and his dog as they grow up together on a cattle station in rural Australia. Roadshow Film Distributors; 2017; Rated: PG: 88 minutes. New and Old: 2011’s Red Dog is a classic of the sad but beautiful dog movie genre. In the short time since it’s...

The 10 Best Comedies of 2016 Dec28

The 10 Best Comedies of 2016

On of the bigger surprises of 2016 is how incredible the year has been for comedy in film. This is always a hit or miss genre. For every great comedy per year, there is usually more than a few bad ones to match. 2016, however, was a refreshing change. Comedy of all kinds, whether it be a sequel or a remake or an original property, has dominated ever since January. These films have been animated and live-action, they’ve action comedies, rom-coms, and farces. The great comedies of have been so varied and interesting that we had trouble narrowing it down to just a select few for this list. Thus, through careful analysis of how much they...

Office Christmas Party Offers By the Numbers Holiday Cheer Dec13

Office Christmas Party Offers By the Numbers Holid...

Overview: A gang of corporate misfits and wannabe executives come together to throw the office holiday party to end all office holiday parties. Paramount Pictures; 2016; Rated R; 105 minutes. Who’s Been Naughty: Sporadic studio comedy filmmakers Josh Gordon and Will Speck have come together for the third time to offer a feature film that aims to please general movie-going audiences. Office Christmas Party stars second-time lead performers Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston–who previously co-starred in Gordon and Speck’s unfortunately under-seen sophomore effort The Switch in 2010–who portray dueling executives of a national tech...

I’ll Be Darned, The Baywatch Trailer Is Awesome Dec08

I’ll Be Darned, The Baywatch Trailer Is Awes...

I guess I shoudn’t be too shocked. At bare minimum, the upcoming Baywatch film from Horrible Bosses and The King of Kong Director Seth Gordon combines four of the most astoundingly beautiful and charismatic people alive in The Rock, Alexandra Daddario, Zac Efron, and Priyanka Chopra and unleashes their charms on a goofy property toward which no one should even try to claim nostalgic attachment. So, it’s a winning formula, but let’s not kid ourselves. We did not expect this… Earlier today, Paramount gave us our first good look at the film when they released the theatrical trailer and it’s…. hilarious,...

Monster Fest 2016: The Greasy Strangler Dec02

Monster Fest 2016: T...

Overview: A father and son fight over the same woman while the city is stalked by the Greasy Strangler. FilmRise; 2016; Rated R; 93 minutes I Don’t Get It: I don’t know why this movie exists. I don’t know what it’s trying to say. I can’t imagine the two writers felt that this was a story that...

Criterion Discovery: Mon Oncle

Background: Mon Oncle is a French comedy film released in 1958 by Jacques Tati. There are two Criterion versions; the first released in 2001 now out of print, and the second as part of The Complete Jacques Tati Criterion set in 2014 (Spine #729). It is one of three of Tati’s films (and the first in colour) centered on a lovable, bumbling mime-like character Monsieur Hulot. Mon Oncle is his most widely celebrated work, receiving both the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and Special Prize at the Cannes Film Festival among other awards. Story: Monsieur Hulot enjoys the freedom and charm of village living and struggles to adapt to...

The Edge of Seventeen Navigates the Awkwardness of High School Nov21

The Edge of Seventeen Navigates the Awkwardness of...

Overview: Four years after the loss of her father (and biggest champion), awkward and acerbic Nadine must learn to navigate the perils of 11th grade without lifelong best friend Krista, exiled by Nadine after hooking up with her popular older brother (and sometimes enemy), Darian. Sony Pictures Entertainment; 2016; Rated R; 104 minutes. Familiar Ground: It’s easy to immediately identify with The Edge of Seventeen since the viewer has likely been here before, whether in real life or at the movies. Awkwardness, it would seem, is a teenage universal. The story begins with a voiceover from Nadine (True Grit’s Hailee Steinfeld) recounting to a...

Oh No, Run Away! Trailer Released for A Series of Unfortunate Events Nov17

Oh No, Run Away! Trailer Released for A Series of ...

We already warned you not to read about A Series of Unfortunate Events and you didn’t listen. You kept reading and sharing and liking as though that wasn’t exactly what we told you not to do. Well, if you’re a glutton for punishment Netflix has released a full trailer for A Series of Unfortunate Events, which shows that this despicable show is going to be a zany, cartoonish nightmare in the vein of Mr. Sonnenfeld’s Addams Family movies. And look at these poor wretched fools dragged into this horrible situation obviously against their will. Poor actors probably forced to choose between being in this show or ending up...

Netflix Hidden Gem #83: Goon

Goon (2011) Director: Michael Dowse Genre: Comedy Magnet Releasing Synopsis: A simple-minded bouncer, who is professionally and emotionally adrift, inadvertently winds up becoming an enforcer for a minor league ice hockey team. Overview: Like the thematically akin sports comedy cult-classic Slap Shot from 1977 starring Paul Newman, director Michael Dowse offers a light-hearted send up of some of the more brutal aspects of professional ice hockey as the other great contact sport beside American football. With American Pie alumnus Seann William Scott in the lead role as the charmingly dimwitted Doug “The Thug” Glatt, Goon blends several...

Don’t Watch the Teasers for A Series of Unfortunate Events Nov04

Don’t Watch the Teasers for A Series of Unfo...

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket is a terrible, awful book series about a trio of wretched orphans who fall into the clutches of a diabolical criminal mastermind, Count Olaf. Netflix have foolishly decided that they want to make a TV series of these books with a cast of actors who I assumed were kidnapped and forced to do it like Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton, Joan Cusack, and Aasif Mandvi. The whole torrid affair will be directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and written by the official representative for Mr. Snicket, poor Daniel Handler (another hard done by soul who was probably press-ganged into service on this doomed...

10 Years Ago, Borat Punched Everybody

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, or Borat, as it’s come to be known, is the funniest movie I have ever seen. Caution me against publishing hyperbole as much as you would like, but with Sacha Baron Cohen’s brilliant film today celebrating the 10th anniversary of its release, I have had a decade to think about it. And I am more confident in the assertion than ever. Borat is the funniest movie I have ever seen. That status is insulated and protected by a few facts. First, there had never been anything quite like Borat before. Sure, American pop culture has been heavily familiar with recorded...

Amy Schumer’s “Formation” Parody...

Filming on Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn’s action comedy Mother/Daughter wrapped in August, and to generate press for the film, Schumer and Hawn released a video last week where they lip-synced to their own interpretation of Beyoncé’s black female empowerment anthem, “Formation.” Actress Wanda Sykes also makes an appearance in the parody, which features Schumer and Hawn dancing in the tropics of Hawaii, where much of their film was shot. Of course, anyone who’s ever heard “Formation” knows that having two white, affluent actresses twerk to lyrics such as “I like my negro nose and Jackson 5 nostrils” would elicit some deserved anger from...

10 Directors for Deadpool 2 Oct24

10 Directors for Deadpool 2

In a rather shocking turn of events, or at least shocking in the world of comic book movies, Deadpool director Tim Miller has dropped out of the sequel, with Deadline citing creative differences with star Ryan Reynolds. Naturally, there are a handful of rumors about what these creative differences revolved around, but we’re interested in looking at the franchise’s future. Of course, with Fox having a property as big as Deadpool (Marvel currently publishes more books revolving around him than any other character) and coming off such a massive box office success, they’re going to want their franchise in safe hands. They face the challenge of...

Bridget Jones’s Baby Is Hilariously Satisfying Sep30

Bridget Jones’...

Overview: Twelve years after Bridget Jones discovers love with Mark Darcy, we catch up with her only to discover she’s single again. However, one girls’ weekend and one christening celebration are enough to alter the course of her solitude forever, or the next 18 years at least....

My Blind Brother Will Reaffirm Your Love for Jenny Slate Sep29

My Blind Brother Wil...

Overview: The strained relationship between two brothers comes to a head when they become two points of a love triangle. 2016; Orion Pictures/Starz Digital; Rated R; 85 minutes. Tone: Going into My Blind Brother, it would be easy to expect something cruel and Farrelly Brothers-esque in which...