comedy

Barely Lethal Trailer  photo
Barely Lethal Trailer

First trailer for Barely Lethal sure is lethal


Apr 27
// Nick Valdez
I'm immediately interested whenever A24 picks up a film. They've done such a good job of picking out the more interesting and experimental properties like Ex Machina, Spring Breakers, Obvious Child, and so on. Their latest fi...

Tribeca Review: Monty Python: The Meaning of Live

Apr 26 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
[embed]219309:42350:0[/embed] Monty Python: The Meaning of LiveDirectors: Roger Graef and James RoganRating: NRCountry: United Kingdom  I'm on the younger side of New York film critics. I'm certainly not the youngest (not anymore), but I know a whole bunch of critics more than twice my age. And that means that many of the people who I saw The Meaning of Live with were alive when Monty Python was big, and a fair number of those were probably old enough to remember them. Those people were laughing at the film for different reasons than I was. Those people were laughing because they were seeing sketches they knew by heart for the hundredth time, though with the added quirk of thirty years. Monty Python is no longer made up of spring chickens. They're older, grayer, and feeling the effects of those first two things. Going between clips from back in the day and the modern iterations, the sketches themselves haven't changed much, but the people definitely have. Seeing John Cleese in a wig as a young man was funny. Seeing him in a wig as an old man is freaking hilarious. The film isn't just about the stage show, though. It's also about the past, about their time in Britain and then going abroad. It's about what led them to split up in the 80s and then return in the 2010s. It's about the entire Python timeline. And it's all fascinating, because they're fascinating people. And they're funny. I mean, of course they're funny, but that doesn't make it any less noteworthy. Watching them talk and interact, seeing how they do this thing and then talk about what they did, it's all enjoyable because they're just enjoyable to watch. Near the end of the trailer, John Cleese is in a hallway and he trips over his own feet. He's on camera, but he's not doing it for the audience. He's doing it for the two workers in the hallway with him. He turns it into a bit, doing it a few times, just to get some laughs out of the people who are doing all of the thankless work to get him up on stage. It's a wonderful moment, and it makes you fall in the love with man yet again. The Meaning of Live feels like a fly-on-the-wall documentary, even though it's professionally done. The camera people honestly aren't that great at their job, and frequently try to find focus as everyone involved walks around. It looks kind of guerilla, to be honest, and that's unfortunate. Even if the show that's being filmed has some technical hangups, there's no excuse for the film to as well. Moments of brilliance were obscured in a camera operator's inability to find focus. I've filmed things like this before, and I know how difficult it is to do this job, but that doesn't excuse it. They should have been on point. Because everyone else was.  Whether you could recite Monty Python sketches in your sleep or just have vague memories of hearing someone discuss a holy hand grenade, there's something in this movie for you. You don't need to know Monty Python to find their story fascinating. I expect you'll get more out of it if you do, but it's hardly a requirement. Really, the only thing you need to bring is a sense of humor. And that shouldn't be a problem. If Monty Python can't make you laugh, then you're definitely dead inside. 
Monty Python Review photo
Always look on the bright side
Even though Monty Python ended their run in the 1980s, they're still curtural icons. Even for people like me, born after their disbanding, films like Monty Python and the Holy Grain (though less their Flying Circus roots...

Joe Deertay photo
Joe Deertay

Here's the first teaser trailer for Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser


Apr 15
// Nick Valdez
Despite all of my better judgement, and how many times I've reviewed terrible comedy sequels made years later, I'm actually looking forward to Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser. The first one holds a lot of memories for me as I go...
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First Vacation images makes us wonder why


Sorry folks, park's closed. Moose out front shoulda told ya.
Apr 15
// Matthew Razak
National Lampoon's Vacation spawned a series of increasingly forgettable films (aside from European Vacation the first film I ever saw with boob), but a rebooted Vacation film is looking to bring back the magic...
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Ant-Man

Newest Ant-Man trailer is a great do-over


Apr 13
// Nick Valdez
Remember how badly that first Ant-Man trailer was received? Mismanaged tone, mismanaged editing, and the whole thing was all over the place. This trailer, which is now the "first" trailer, is essentially a big mulligan and i...
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Fake 22 Jump Street posters are canon in 23 Jump Street


We Jump Street, and we 'bout to jump in yo ass.
Apr 07
// Matthew Razak
The Jump Street films (21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street) are some of the funniest modern comedies you can watch. Fantastic send ups of the film industry with some of the best comic timing you're going to see this s...
Burying the Ex photo
Burying the Ex

Trailer for Joe Dante's Burying the Ex buries itself deep


...in poop
Apr 07
// Nick Valdez
Joe Dante has had a string of mediocre films lately. A formerly quirky name in the horror genre, with films like Gremlins and Small Soldiers, but after directing a bunch of television and whatever exactly The Hole was, his d...
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First trailer for Masterminds lets you know the name is ironic


Now I'm going to have Sabotage stuck in my head all day
Mar 31
// Matthew Razak
Masterminds looks like one of those based-on-a-true-story movies where they basically said that a bank robbery happened once so that means that the film is based on it. It also looks pretty funny, if unoriginal. Great c...

Review: Get Hard

Mar 27 // Nick Valdez
[embed]219200:42305:0[/embed] Get HardDirector: Etan CohenRelease Date: March 27th, 2015 Rating: R Wall Street millionaire James King (Will Ferrell) was on the top of the world. He just made partner at his company, lives in a huge house, is engaged to a beautiful woman, and was sentenced to ten years in prison for embezzlement. With only 30 days to get his affairs in order, he asks for help from Darnell (Kevin Hart), a guy who owns a struggling car washing business and wants to get his family out of the hood, to "get hard" for prison life.  Usually these plot synopsis paragraphs take a bit more space, but Get Hard has nothing else to work with. This razor thin premise, which would seem more at home on a 22 minute TV sitcom, doesn't really evolve. It does pretty much what you would expect it to, doesn't reinvent the wheel nor break it down, and you can accurately predict what's going to happen if you've ever seen one of these films before. But what Get Hard does get right, however, is the thin premise allows Hart and Ferrell to play to their improvisational strengths. Once you get passed all of the jokes you've heard before, there's some goodness underneath.  I'm usually the last person to defend Kevin Hart, but he definitely earns his paycheck here. A lot of the film's humor stems from his commitment to the bit, and he carries the brunt of the weight here. I don't know if it's due to age, or if he doesn't like where his career has gone, but Will Ferrell just isn't here for this one. Turning out a performance I can only describe as "tired," his lethargic delivery never elevates his hasbeen material. Maybe it's because Ferrell realized too late that he was working with an inadequate script, but he just seemed so tuned out. That's why Kevin Hart, with his always effective energy regardless of whether or not his humor is on point, commands so much attention. Yet, it's very depressing to see him flounder around so much for virtually no gain. It's like fighting for air in a vacuum: lots of struggling that only suffocates faster.  As for the film's offensive premise, it's very ineffective. Refusing to push far in any direction, it relies on stereotypical jokes throughout. I'll give the film credit for noting why street gangs can recruit many disadvantaged kids, but it's buried underneath blackface and rape jokes. Seriously, I couldn't keep track of how many times the word "dick" was used, or how many references to anal sex there were. I'm no prude, nor do I care when a film pushes the envelope, but doing so has to result in a good laugh. Resting on the same cheap gags but adding a vulgar twist is not enough to keep folks invested. I'll admit that Get Hard did get a laugh out of me during Ferrell's creative put downs ("Are you at Costco? Because you're getting this dick in bulk!"), but a few laughs out of the film's hundred or so attempts are horrible odds.  At the end of the day, I don't care how loudly offensive Get Hard is. It's boring, dry, and sets back the comedic landscape a few years. This is the kind of film you would've seen ten or twenty years ago before we knew any better. As Kevin Hart continues to rise in popularity, and Will Ferrell is on his way out, you can gauge the kind of desperate situation that brought these two together to beat a dead horse. The worst part of it all is, T.I. was the best actor in this. F**king T.I. 
Get Hard Review photo
Flaccid
The worst criticism a film can get is "harmless." When a film is just "harmless," it's stale, voiceless, and generally fails to make a lasting impression. A harmless film exists, takes 90-100 minutes of your life, and then yo...

Awesome photo
Awesome

Key and Peele's Substitute Teacher sketch becoming a full film


Insubordinate and churlish.
Mar 26
// Nick Valdez
Jayquellan! Balakey! De-nice! A. A. Ron! O Shag Henessy! Films come out of the weirdest places these days, but when their source is one of the most watched Key & Peele sketches it all makes sense. According to Deadline, ...

Review: Dead Rising: Watchtower

Mar 26 // Nick Valdez
[embed]219149:42297:0[/embed] Dead Rising: WatchtowerDirector: Zach LipovskyRelease Date: March 27th, 2015 (exclusively on Crackle)Rating: NR  In Watchtower, the zombie virus has spread round the world and the government has issued a super drug, known as Zombrex, in order to cure it. Digital journalist Chase Carter (Jesse Metcalfe) and his partner Jordan (Keegan Connor Tracy) end up getting caught in the latest outbreak when a bad string of Zombrex infects a stadium full of people. As Chase tries to survive, he runs into a woman who's already infected named Crystal (Meghan Ory), and now they must work together to survive the zombies, figure out what's going on with the Zombrex, and most importantly, escape from the group of psychopaths on the loose.  Watchtower had quite a bit of an undertaking on its hands. If you're not aware of the Dead Rising games, just know they're famous for featuring a single guy cheesin' his way through hordes of zombies while he wears crazy outfits, makes anything he can into weapons, and its narrative is one of the worst in zombie fiction. So, having Watchtower not be a complete mess is already a huge plus. It fixes this by creating a narrative all its own rather than try and adapt the current stories available. In fact it relegates Frank West, here in the film awesomely played by Rob Riggle and one of the series' flamboyantly divisive characters, to the sidelines whereas the film could've completely derailed had its tone focused on the wackiness of that character. Instead he's used wonderfully here. Adding a bit of levity in between heavier scenes and getting the laugh like only Rob Riggle can. A line like "I'll smack you with that TV" works because the film allows Riggle to be as slimy and goofy as he can while paying homage to videogames themselves.  With zombie cinema as prevalent as it is, it's hard not to get a sense of "been there, done that" with any zombie film. We've seen everything from the grittiest of grit to the hokiest of cheese, so Watchtower tries its best to find a middle ground between the two. There is a sense of loss as the film struggles to find an adequate tone for a good chunk of the film. It might be a result of the film taking the subject matter at face value. Meaning that any goofiness the series is known for is only implied, and scenes only come off as inherently hokey. While this shouldn't have worked, I really enjoyed the little asides the film gives to its corniness. For example, in an awesome Shaun of the Dead like fashion, one of the first things the characters do when the outbreak breaks is to use whatever they can find as a weapon. Which means at one point, Chase fights a zombie clown holding an axe with a muffler before running it over in such a cool way. It's a nice bit of staging that you don't see much in zombie media. It's always a matter of a survivor fighting with the one weapon they have rather than literally using everything at their disposal. As for its lead, Jesse Metcalfe holds his own well enough but Chase doesn't have enough character for Metcalfe to sink his teeth into. It's just sort of an every man. That's a consequence of having Frank West be a part of the film too. That character is so magnanimous every time he's on screen, that every thing else loses spark unwittingly. That's not to say the film completely lacks personality, however. There's a scene early on that marries the game's quirk with the film's grit and makes for a particularly gripping scene. It's shot well (as it's just a constant, smooth take following Chase through a field of zombies), there's a bit where a weapon wears out and he has to switch, and it was one of the few times there was suspense. Chase just becomes a super zombie killer after that point, and while that's interesting in its own right, it does lose a little pizzazz. Then again, that's also a shout out to the game series so kudos to the film.  Dead Rising: Watchtower isn't perfect as it runs for a bit too long, the psychopaths wear a little thin (as the lead gets a weird speech explaining his motivations), and there's a jarring first person camera trick used too often early on. But don't let that deter you away from watching it for yourself. A fantastic videogame adaptation that absolutely nails why the games sell so well, yet never feels alienating for folks who have no idea where this film stems from.  As one of Sony's Crackle service's big headlining originals, this is indeed a good show of what's to come. If they can keep churning out excellent films like this, I'll definitely stick around to see what's next. 
Dead Rising Review photo
"Zombies, huh? I had a feeling you'd show up..."
Videogames have had a rough time in cinema. Since videogames are such an interactive medium, a film adaptation always misses out on the intimacy of player involvement or the videogame's story struggles to find an identity in ...

Zoolander 2  photo
Zoolander 2

These Zoolander 2 images are so hot right now


Mar 25
// Nick Valdez
I know comedy sequels aren't the greatest (I've reviewed far too many of them to count), but I can't help but be blindly excited for Zoolander 2. I'm sure it's going to do the things I always criticize like relying on the sam...

First official trailer for Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation

Mar 23 // Nick Valdez
[embed]219158:42293:0[/embed]
M:Impossible Trailer photo
Fugees make everything better
First things first. Christopher McQuarrie's Mission: Impossible 5, featuring the incredibly awesome and incredibly real high flying plane stunt, is now officially titled Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation. Secondly, this trail...

Review: Ana Maria in Novela Land

Mar 19 // Nick Valdez
[embed]219098:42280:0[/embed] Ana Maria in Novela LandDirectors: Georgina RiedelRelease Date: February 27th, 2015 Ana Maria, in a nutshell, is like a better version of Freaky Friday. The film follows the titular Ana Maria (Edy Ganem), a twenty something who can't hold a job and would rather spend her time live tweeting her favorite novela, Pasión Sin Límites (or Passion Without Limits), than hanging out with her friends. As her favorite character Ariana Tomosa (once again, Edy Ganem) seems to have the best life with an upcoming wedding and a hot guy pining for her, Ana Maria wishes that was her life. After a storm, a tweet, and some shenanigans, Ana Maria becomes a part of her favorite telenovela. Now she must make it home before the series ends or she'll be stuck forever.  Ana Maria gently tows the line between homage and parody without ever falling too deep into one of those pitfalls. It's all part of an effort to make the film a bit more digestible for a wider audience. The film already has a few esoteric barriers to entry (the audience needs some kind of knowledge of novela culture, and the film has a cast of native Spanish speakers, for example), so the choices it makes are understandable but a bit disheartening. For example, while the film is a nice comedy, it never quite goes far enough with its premise. I'm not sure if it's a fear of offending anyone, or a lack of confidence in its Spanish flair, but there's a major sense of holding back. For example, Ana Maria joins the show as a character, rather than switching places with the actress playing that character. So the jokes come from the surface level hokiness already apparent in telenovelas rather than trying to find something deeper. And while most of the film is indeed a fun parody of the tropes, there are a few jokes that are definitely derogatory. Like Luiz Guzman's Licenciado Schmidt popping around the corner every couple of scenes is funny at first, but grows tired as the film relies on it.  That lack of confidence also has an effect on the film's outcome. Since Ana Maria joins this fantastical world, her decision to return home never quite feels real. Thanks to the show's plot giving her a deadline, Ana Maria doesn't come to her conclusions through character work but through ease of plot. It's like she'd rather live her boring life than die, and that's not a great message to go out on. But there's one major aspect I would like to touch on, and it's the one thing that separates this film from most comedies: Ana Maria never loses her agency. It's a refreshing skew of Latino culture.  Latino culture (whether they be Mexican, or from the Central and Southern American regions) follows traditional beats. You know, grow up through church, get married and have kids at a certain age. While the film at first criticizes Ana Maria's choice to be alone (notably, it's her choice), the film's ending, while forced, makes that not seem so bad. Ana Maria's sister may have a traditional marriage, but the film allows Ana Maria the freedom to go through the film's journey in the first place. It's a small, but powerful detail.  Beyond its story, the film's production is quite well done. It took me awhile to realize Ana Maria and Ariana Tomosa were played by the same actress, and I'll give the film credit for managing the feat with just some makeup and hair tricks. And while I wish the film would've sunk further into its telenovela world (we only see one set piece, and it's not used very well), every scene in the show is given a nice glaze. A bit foggy, a bit mystical. It definitely retains its fantastical appeal.  Ana Maria in Novela Land is a nice first step into broadening Latino culture in film. It portrays a facet of that culture rarely seen with analytical eyes, but never quite has a statement one way or the other. It's a nice comedy that pokes fun at the genre, and Edy Ganem is a great lead, but the film lacks bite. 
Ana Maria Review photo
She livin' a life just like a movie star
It's been a tough time for Latino representation in pop culture. While television has made great strides in casting Latino actors in non-traditional roles to show off a greater range of characterization beyond "gang banger" a...

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Sharknado 3 has a title


Third movie in SyFy straight-to-TV franchise will air July 22
Mar 18
// Matt Liparota
You'd think two movies about weather-related shark attacks would be more than enough to last the human race until our surely-impending end, but sometimes the world is a funny place. Despite all logic, a third Sharknado f...
Lazer Team Trailer photo
Lazer Team Trailer

First trailer for Lazer Team, the most funded film in Indiegogo history


Mar 17
// Nick Valdez
I've never heard of Lazer Team, but the film has quite a huge following. Rooster Teeth (most know for sets of webseries like RWBY and Red vs. Blue) has released the trailer for their first film, and it looks pretty good. Cro...
Dead Rising Trailer photo
Dead Rising Trailer

Newest Dead Rising: Watchtower trailer is pretty fun, actually


Mar 10
// Nick Valdez
Starring the John Tucker Must Die kid, the AllState guy, and Rob Riggle as the best f**king Frank West possible, Dead Rising: Watchtower looks surprisingly good. With this trailer elaborating on the bits we got from the firs...
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Hansel and Zoolander walk the runway for Zoolander 2


What is this? A fashion show for ants!
Mar 10
// Matthew Razak
Zoolander 2 is happening and while it isn't so hot right now, it's about to be as the marketing is kicking off in a completely awesome way. Both Ben Stiller as Derrick Zoolander and Owen Wilson as Hansel (so hot right no...
Ghostbusters photo
Ghostbusters

Sony is planning a big Ghostbusters universe


It's Gozer not GozHER.
Mar 10
// Nick Valdez
If the latest news of Paul Feig's upcoming Ghostbusters film (featuring a cast of awesome ladies) somehow rubbed you the wrong way because Dude Ghostbusters looked like Lady Ghostbusters, don't worry Sony's got your back. Dea...
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Will Ferrell learns the finer points of fellatio in new NSFW Get Hard trailer


Don't leave Will Ferrell alone with your parents
Mar 02
// Matt Liparota
Warner Bros. hopes giving you an uncensored taste of the dick jokes and f-bombs in Get Hard will convince you to buy a ticket when it hits theaters later this month, so today the company dropped a new, NSFW trailer to whet y...
FFS:  photo
FFS:

Flix For Short: The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep And Never Had To


So it is written, so it shall be
Feb 25
// Jackson Tyler
Hey, I really like this. Essentially a proof of concept short from writer DC Pierson and director Dan Eckman (based on Pierson's novel), it's the story of teenage best friends who get into all sorts of trouble when one ...
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Pee-Wee returns in Pee-Wee's Big Holiday on Netflix


Why Netflix? He's a loner, a rebel...
Feb 24
// John-Charles Holmes
It's been teased for years now, but it's finally official-- comedian Pee-Wee Herman (Paul Reubens) is finally making his long awaited cinematic return in a new original movie headed exclusively to Netflix.  The film has ...
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New poster for Welcome to Me starring Kristen Wiig


Feb 16
// Ciaran McGarry
Kristen Wiig's latest is a comedy drama in which she plays Alice Klieg, a woman with borderline personality disorder who wins the lottery. She promptly throws away her psychiatric meds, buys herself a talk show and uses it...
Hot Pursuit Trailer photo
Hot Pursuit Trailer

First trailer for Hot Pursuit starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara


Feb 13
// Nick Valdez
Remember The Proposal? It was a not half bad film starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. Hot Pursuit is directed by the same woman Anne Fletcher, and also mixes two cast members you wouldn't expect with somewhat interest...
Trainwreck Trailer photo
Trainwreck Trailer

First trailer for Trainwreck starring Amy Schumer


Feb 12
// Nick Valdez
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm definitely ready for more comedienne led films. One of my biggest films from last year (which you'll find on this handy list) was the Jenny Slate vehicle, Obvious Child. The two ma...
Aloha Trailer photo
Aloha Trailer

First trailer for Cameron Crowe's Aloha


Feb 12
// Nick Valdez
Sony has finally given us our first look at Cameron Crowe's, who's done so many fabulous projects like Elizabethtown, Jerry Maguire, Say Anything, Almost Famous, and uh, We Bought a Zoo, latest project Aloha. Starring Bradle...
Pitch Perfect 2  photo
Pitch Perfect 2

Newest Pitch Perfect 2 trailer is almost perfect


Feb 11
// Nick Valdez
I'm still very much as excited for Pitch Perfect 2 as I was in our staff's Most Anticipated of 2015 list, but this newest trailer for it worries me a bit. Sure it's got the same lovable 80s movie cheese (lol European super g...
Pitch Perfect 2 Spot photo
Pitch Perfect 2 Spot

Super Bowl TV spot for Pitch Perfect 2


Feb 02
// Nick Valdez
I've been worried about Pitch Perfect 2 since it was announced a few years ago. I really liked the first one (enough to watch it several times), and a lot of the humor just kind of *clicked* with me. But the more I watched i...
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Super Bowl TV spot for Ted 2


Tom Brady's golden penis
Feb 02
// Flixist Staff
While we got a more traditional trailer for Ted 2 this past Thursday it seems that was not what was in store for us during the amazing Super Bowl. Instead Ted 2 delivered almost a short clip starring none other tha...
Ted 2 Trailer photo
More Wahlberg, more jokes, and more semen apparently
Ted was a nice surprise. Seth MacFarlane's passion project shined with all of the humor and heart that I would've never expected from the guy who brought us Family Guy. Then A Million Ways to Die in the West came along and w...


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