Results tagged “Comedy”

Saturday Night Live: The Early Years: The Best of Seasons 1-5 DVD Box Set Review

Box set features a mostly strong curated selection of classic episodes featuring the original cast
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This new box set cherry picks 33 complete episodes from the first five years of Saturday Night Live, acting as something of a sampler for the full-season sets that remain available. I’m not entirely sure who the target audience is here, as hardcore fans of the early years will undoubtedly opt for the full seasons, but this is a good abbreviated way to get the flavor of the show during the full run of the original cast. The video quality isn’t the greatest, especially around the discolored frame edges, entirely due to the original videotaped format that likely wasn’t preserved

Carole Lombard Collection I Blu-ray Review: An Early Glimpse of the Queen of Screwball Comedy

The set includes Fast and Loose, Man of the World, and No Man of Her Own.
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Kino Lorber's KL Studio Classics have released a Blu-ray collection of three pre-Code films featuring Golden Age of Hollywood star Carole Lombard. Film buffs know Lombard as the queen of screwball comedy classics such as Twentieth Century (1934) and Nothing Sacred (1937). Lombard starred in numerous bit parts before making it big - she started her film career at Fox Studios in 1921 at the age of 12. Six years later, a car accident left her with a small facial scar and Fox dropped her contract. She worked for Mack Sennett of Keystone Kops fame for a few years before

Never Give a Sucker an Even Break Blu-ray Review: W.C. Fields' Last Star Turn Delivers Laughs

Although it's a presentation of a series of sketches rather than a unified story being told, that doesn't make it any less funny.
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Never Give a Sucker an Even Break is W.C, Fields last outing as the star of a film. He also came up with its original story, credited to Otis Criblecoblis. Although it's a presentation of a series of sketches rather than a unified story being told, that doesn't make it any less funny. Kino Lorber Studio Classics presents it on Blu-ray. (Bear with me as this might get a little confusing) Fields plays a fictional version of himself, referred to in the credits as the Great Man but no matter the name, his trademark cantankerous, put-upon persona is on display.

An Unmarried Woman Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: Bold and Groundbreaking

A still fresh, unapologetically honest portrait of a woman's reawakening.
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As I mentioned in my Pick of the Week recently, the 1970s were a very pivotal time for women. There was the coming of feminism, Gloria Steinem, bras being burned, Mary Tyler Moore, etc. Arguably unlike any other decade, maybe besides the 1980s, women started to have their own say, thoughts, feelings, sexual needs, and boundaries. They didn't let men define them. They were beginning to find themselves. They had careers, children, and independence. They allowed themselves to clip the strings of men and grow their own wings. I think that director Paul Mazursky really took to that seriously with

Airplane! Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary with New Blu-ray Release July 21

Arrives with new special features, including new interviews with the directors and a Q&A recorded at Hollywood's Egyptian Theater.
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Press release: A masterpiece of off-the-wall comedy, AIRPLANE! celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2020 with a brand-new Blu-ray in the Paramount Presents line, as well as a limited edition Blu-ray Steelbook, both arriving on July 21, 2020 from Paramount Home Entertainment. Originally released in July of 1980, AIRPLANE! was a major hit and become a pop culture touchstone. Voted “one of the 10 funniest movies ever made” by the American Film Institute, the film continues to be widely referenced and quoted 40 years after its theatrical debut. The Paramount Presents Blu-ray and limited edition Steelbook each includes the newly remastered

CRSHD Movie Review: A Vigorous and Earnest Directorial Debut

CRSHD overcomes familiar story beats with its zestful directorial structure and profound central performances.
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CRSHD follows a similar pattern to other “one wild night” comedies involving a group of friends looking to engage in a night of raunchy fun before the end of the school year. Yet, it manages to stick out from other films within that vein as it has a college setting as opposed to a high school one like in Superbad or Booksmart and possesses a video game structure. The storyline involves Izzy Alden (Isabelle Barbier) and her desire to lose her virginity before the end of her freshman year. As Izzy aims to get into an event called a “Crush

Billy Liar Blu-ray Review: Tom Courtenay's Performance is Absolutely Spellbinding

The late, great director John Schlesinger crafts a sad but uproarious portrait of a young man's inner and outer life.
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The British New Wave was an innovative, but short-lived cinematic movement during the early '60s to the early '70s. It was a category of film that realistically showcased the struggles of everday people of the working class. Directors like Karel Reisz, Jack Clayton, and Lindsay Anderson, to name a few, told their own stories, especially of the 'angry young men', who behaved and lived their own way to try and escape their rather dull surroundings. I think John Schlesinger, the late openly gay filmmaker, did just that with his 1963 classic Billy Liar, but with a comically surreal twist. Film

Like A Boss Blu-ray Review: Making Up is Hard to Do

Like A Boss has a great cast with a lot of chemistry, but somehow it just never seems to all come together.
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Like A Boss has the ingredients of a really good girl power comedy: a great cast with lots of chemistry (led by Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne) and a fun premise - two small business women vs. a powerful and glamorous comic villain (Salma Hayek). But somehow it just doesn't all come together. The pacing is sluggish and some dopey physical comedy is simply out of place and falls flat (kudos to Tiffany Haddish for always giving it her all). Mia (Haddish) and Mel (Byrne) have been friends since middle school. They are besties and roomies who bond at karaoke

Jexi Blu-ray Review: Mindless, Silly Fun with a Hint of Possibility

Overall, the movie is enjoyable.
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Phil (Adam Devine) has led a lone and solitary life. He has no real friends, spends the majority of his time at home, and is completely obsessed with his cellphone. So much so, that his two co-workers, Craig (Ron Funches) and Elaine (Charlyne Yi), who have sat next to him at work for the last three years don’t even know one another’s names. Even though Phil aspires to be a real journalist, his social anxiety keeps him from reaching that goal and instead, his job consists of him writing top-ten lists that usually includes cute animals with the sole purpose

Like A Boss Movie Review: A Middling Investment

Rose Byrne and Tiffany Haddish are the strong center of this amusing yet manufactured comedy.
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The new comedy Like A Boss is like a cone of vanilla ice cream with sprinkles. It does its job at being satisfactory the way one would expect but with some added touches. It’s firmly aware that it isn’t meant to change the face of comedy even if it doesn’t offer “laugh a minute”-type humor. Yet, it admirably adds some slight heft with its handling of lifelong friendships. Mia Carter (Tiffany Haddish) and Mel Paige (Rose Byrne) have been together through thick and thin. Despite them having different personalities, they still have remained close friends who live together and run

Interview with Brian Volk-Weiss: Comedy Producer and Creator of Netflix's The Toys That Made Us

We should all be looking forward to his take on 'Star Wars'.
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Brian Volk-Weiss is most likely a name you’ve never heard before. He isn’t center stage, nor is he the star of any movies or series. He exists in the background, behind-the-scenes, orchestrating close to 300 comedy specials as a producer and over 30 specials and series as a director. In his free time, he creates and direct multiple Netflix series, including The Toys That Made Us (four seasons) and The Movies That Made Us (one season). When he was a kid, he played with Star Wars toys, LEGOs, G.I. Joes, and Transformers. He even thought Star Wars was a documentary

Robin Williams: Comic Genius (5-DVD Set) Review: A Retrospective of the Brilliant Comedian

A collection that Williams fans will return to time and time again.
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Time Life, in conjunction with the estate of Robin Williams, has released Robin Williams: Comic Genius as a 5-disc DVD collection. This set, which chronicles his career as a stand-up, features over 15 hours of comedic performances, behind-the-scenes footage, outtakes, interviews, and material that has previously never been seen by the public. This collection arrives five years after Williams’ suicide. A loss that is still being felt by his family, friends, and fans alike. This collection is for both the fan and the superfan. Although some of the content can be a little repetitive, the overall collection is strong. And

Abbott & Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection on Blu-ray November 19 from Shout! Factory

Get ready to laugh out loud as this collection comes packed with all 28 of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello's iconic films at Universal.
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Press release: This holiday season, every Universal Pictures film from the most popular comedy duo of all time comes home when Abbott and Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection hits Blu-ray for the first time as a complete collection on November 19, 2019 from Shout! Factory. The Complete Universal Pictures Collection comes loaded with bonus features, including 10 new audio commentaries, a collectible book, and a bonus disc with more than eight hours of content. Celebrating the 80th anniversary of Abbott and Costello’s first film One Night in the Tropics, the massive 15-disc set is the ultimate tribute to two

Harpoon (2019) Movie Review: A Gory, Gutsy, Giddy Voyage

Filled with blood and betrayal, Harpoon is sometimes tough to swallow, but easy to love.
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The first 15 minutes of Rob Grant’s Harpoon are slow. Grant is methodical in the way he introduces each character, using archival footage and flashbacks to give all the exposition one needs for a good story. We understand each of our three protagonists, or antagonists by the end of the film, and can plainly see where they fit within the interlocking friendships. The roles are set. The pecking order is established. And with that, Harpoon doesn’t just walk or run to the next conflicts, it sprints at breakneck speed, shattering everything in its path. The film centers around three friends,

Fantastic Fest 2019 Review: Koko-di Koko-da: Horror Through Repetition

Dying over and over shouldn't be fun, but Koko-di Koko-da sure is a creepy joyride.
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I’ve never been a huge fan of horror movies. Jump scares, bloody creatures, and demonic possessions aren’t really my cup of tea. I see them all as one movie: a predictable, harrowing couple of hours that never ceases to keep me up at night. Johannes Nyholm’s Swedish drama Koko-di Koko-da just changed my mind. Slapping together Groundhog Day with Cabin in the Woods, Nyholm produces a low-budget, comedy-horror-drama of sorts that extends the boundaries of genre. You won’t be falling out of your seat or covering your eyes with your hands while watching the film, you will be chuckling at

The Major and the Minor Blu-ray Review: Wild Comedy from Billy Wilder

The Major and the Minor may have been the first Hollywood film directed by Wilder, but it is also one of his best.
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Susan Applegate (Ginger Rogers) has had it up to here with New York City, with fighting off men making passes at her on her job, with just about everything. She's packing it in and heading back to her hometown of Stevenson, Iowa. There's just one problem. She's broke and doesn't have enough for the one-way fare. That is, an adult fare. She could manage the cost of a child's fare ticket. After a quick trip to the ladies' room, she scrubs off her sophisticated New York city-girl face, changes her fancy hair-do to pigtails, and pushes her hat on the

Attack of the Robots (1966) Blu-ray Review: Eddie Constantine Lays His Cards on the Table

Redemption Films brings Jess Franco's campy cult Eurospy spoof to Blu-ray, including an uncredited aural contribution by yours truly.
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Crafted in the wake of Jean-Luc Godard's immortal Alphaville ‒ a deadpan French New Wave satire of contemporary espionage and sci-fi films ‒ Jess Franco's Cartes sur table ‒ better known to English-speaking audiences as Attack of the Robots ‒ is a campy tale of tricks and traps. In fact, Franco's French/Spanish co-production even casts the same lead from Godard's cult classic: the one and only Eddie Constantine (a personal favorite film idol of mine), who sets out to discover just who is turning people with the rare "Rhesus Zero" (presumably a variation of the extremely rare Rhnull blood type)

The Girl Most Likely To... Blu-ray Review: Very Dark, Very Funny

Stockard Channing is great in her first starring role as an ugly ducking in this dark, funny comedy from Joan Rivers.
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They sure knew how to make TV-movies back in the day. In The Girl Most Likely To… Stockard Channing (Grease, Six Degrees of Separation) appears in her first major role as Miriam Knight, an awkward "ugly duckling" bullied and excluded by her college peers. No matter how many times Miriam has switched schools, she just can't get a date. She is brilliant and funny, but that doesn't seem to matter to anyone who meets her, as they only superficially react to her outward appearance. Despite the constant put-downs, Miriam is ever hopeful of finding her true love. After a wellness

Monstrosity (1987) / Weirdo: The Beginning (1989) Blu-ray Reviews: Why? WHY?

Garagehouse Pictures releases a pair of awful horror obscurities which may either induce vomiting, blindness, or death, depending on how lucky you are.
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Just when I thought the world was starting to get over its nasty habit of not making a whole heck of a lot of sense, Garagehouse Pictures dropped a major bomb on me. Sure, on the surface, the HD offerings of two Los Angeles-made minor indie horror flicks from the late '80s may seem like good cause to rejoice. Alas, both 1987's Monstrosity and 1989's The Weirdo (or, Weirdo: The Beginning, as it is also called) stem from the sadistic and unimaginative world of the late Andy Milligan, so any and all signs of something amazing being found in these

The Real McCoy (1993) Blu-ray Review: Dammit, Kim!

Kino Lorber places Russell Mulcahy's heist stinker starring Kim Basinger and Val Kilmer on display for you to give or take.
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Like Kino Lorber's recent release of 1974's The Midnight Man, 1993's The Real McCoy is another Universal production filmed in the South about an ex-con who finds it isn't easy to change their stripes (so to speak). Of course, comparing The Midnight Man to The Real McCoy is like juxtaposing Highlander with Highlander 2: The Quickening. The subtle film reference joke there being that the latter three titles were all manufactured by a filmmaker one either loves or hates (or both, if they're a Highlander fan): one-time pop music video director Russell Mulcahy. Here, former Vicki Vale Kim Basinger stars
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