Tagged Comedy

The Upside (Burger, 2017)

I have a dim recollection of The Intouchables, the original film on which The Upside is based. I remember liking it for being both heartwarming and funny, but after many years and several hundreds of films later, I would probably look at it more critically if I were to watch it again. Which I won’t, because The Upside is more…

Ralph Breaks the Internet (Moore & Johnston, 2018)

There is a lot going on in Ralph Breaks the Internet outside of its family-friendly messaging about learning to let go of your insecurities and, by extension, the people you’re close to when it’s time for them to move on. In and of itself, that messaging is astute and worth championing in a film like this. The fact that…

Velvet Buzzsaw (Gilroy, 2019)

If Velvet Buzzsaw was going for incisive critique of the art world’s myriad frivolities, it doesn’t work well. The best it can do is to emulate the kind of dead air that’s generated by those who equate premium connoisseurship with maximum pretension. And even then it can only go so far without looking incompetently cartoonish—and oftentimes it…

A Simple Favor (Feig, 2018)

I’ve been sitting on this film for almost a day now, trying to figure out what to write about it. My mental list just has the words KENDRICK, LIVELY, COSTUMES and DIABOLIQUE scribbled in earnest, and I must say, I loved so much of it. So much of it, in fact, that I fear this…

Mary Poppins Returns (Marshall, 2018)

Mary Poppins Returns begins with a very traditional opening number, before revealing very traditional opening credits with an overture in the vein of the original. It is a clear jump into the past, and an age when filmmaking was ornate in its charms and looked to largess in order to please. Rob Marshall understandably wants to…

Vice (McKay, 2018)

It’s been several hours now since I watched Vice, and my opinion of it has dropped as the time passed. In the moment, it is compulsively watchable. You see McKay hitting highs and lows (frequently from one scene to the next), and the kinesis of his style prevents one from drifting off into space. Even when…

The Favourite (Lanthimos, 2018)

I can’t say I was absolutely loving Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest curio about twenty minutes in. A lot is established very quickly, and Lanthimos seems to jump right into his trademark weirdness rather than let it simmer over. For instance, I thought putting the duck race in the first act, when the tone hasn’t been quite set, was…

Sorry to Bother You (Riley, 2018)

The angry and confrontational nature of Sorry to Bother You is its best feature, there’s no question about it. The anti-capitalist, pro-labour mindset being espoused is not filtered or watered down, and Riley’s absurdist touches help make it stick in memorable ways. I mean, yes, the twisted climax is one of them, but the idea of a…

Night is Short, Walk on Girl (Masaaki, 2017)

I commend the gutsy animation style on display in Night is Short, Walk on Girl. Expression is maximized from stem to stern, with emotions and physical movements taking on eye-popping (and hilarious) modes. Over-exaggerating affect and spatial boundaries works in this context, because this is a film about those awkward in-between years of adolescence and adulthood—between…

Green Book (Farrelly, 2018)

Before this film began, I sat in my seat terrified that I was going to like it. Though people whose opinions I follow have liked it, others have panned it for reasons that, to me, seemed sensible just by watching the trailer. I have been suspicious of this film since it won the People’s Choice…

Blindspotting (López Estrada, 2018)

I’m over the moon about all these films this year that register BLM issues and the African-American experience in such powerful ways. Blindspotting will sit alongside works like BlacKkKlansman, Black Panther, If Beale Street Could Talk, The Hate U Give and Life and Nothing More as a shining example of this cinema’s vital necessity in our times. It is also one of the best…

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Coens, 2018)

The Coens’ hot streak continues—and rather surprisingly at that—with The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, an anthology of six Western-style shorts that are bridged only by their stunningly-rendered vistas and grim depictions of mortality and isolation. I say “surprisingly” because anthology films are a risky undertaking in general, as the shorts therein can vary wildly in quality.…

The Disaster Artist (Franco, 2017)

I’m so glad I watched The Room before seeing this. The experience is ten times more riotous when you’re familiar with Tommy Wiseau’s peculiar tics and see them so brilliantly imitated by James Franco (in, without a doubt, his best performance since 127 Hours). The hulking gait! The heavy-lidded eyes! That pronounced European accent! That bizarre laugh! Oh what…

Pitch Perfect 3 (Sie, 2017)

Due to a timing mix-up, I saw Pitch Perfect 3 in a very last-minute call. It was only until I was seated that I remembered I hadn’t seen the second installment! Most mercifully, the story is more or less self-contained, and I remembered enough of the first one to keep track of everyone (with the exception of…