Skip to content

comedy

Big Bug – Jean-Pierre Jeunet (2022)

Jeunet made another weird and wonderful film, this time for Netflix. As more often with Jeunet, “Big Bug” plays in the future. Not a dark and bleak future, but a bright and colourful future this time.

Contrary to most of his previous films, there are but a few of his go-to actors in this Jeunet. Dominque Pinon is only on screen a split second and François Levantal has a big part, but he only appears in one other Jeunet.

In a not too far future, mankind makes greater use of technology as it does today. Jeunet came up with some amusing concepts. Some sort of little drone that can locate things that have been misplaced, a flying Citroen DS, a talking vacuum cleaner and a robot housemaid. Of course all if very secure.

For different reasons, a group of people are in the villa of the sensual Alice when the robots apparently decided to take over. They cripple mankind by creating a massive traffic jam and then local systems lock people inside their houses because the level of danger is too high outside.

In Alice’s house are some ‘vintage’ robots not connected to the main Yonyx system so not robots are immediately hostile. They are of not much help either, since they do have protocols to follow. The robots have meetings to try to find a way for the people to like them better, so they start to read books, download humour and compassion. You get it, Jeunet has stuffed his film with hilarious situations and odd findings. Laughing robots, a vacuum cleaner trying to seduce his mistress. All things you can safely to Jeunet.

The result is very amusing. “Big Bug” may not be Jeunet’s best, but it certainly is a great watch and much better than most (any?) Netflix-original that I saw so far.

Freaks Out – Gabriele Mainetti (2021)

We follow a few people with ‘special abilities’ who work at an Italian circus. Then the Nazis take over the country and things do not go entirely as planned. A bunch of them gets separated from the leader of their circus and decide to go and find another local circus looking for a new occupation.

We have a hairy man, a young man who can direct insects, a magnetic man and an electric girl. During their walks through occupied Rome they encounter German razzias, but mostly have quirky adventures and encounters. “Freaks Out” reminds a bit of the work of Jean Pierre Jeunet.

The film is amusing, but do not take too much notice of the historical elements in the story. As the film continues, the focus starts to go to one character in particular who has much bigger ‘super powers’ than the rest.

A nice one when you feel like something light-footed (but not too much) odd.

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn – Cathy Yan (2020)

The cover suggests an action comic comedy of sorts and that proved to be true. The film appears to lift on the “Gotham” franchise. Harley Quinn from the title is a weird girl who could do whatever she wanted as long as she was the lady of the Joker. After the two broke up, Quinn finds out she has more enemies than she imagined.

The film is a women-power action with witty dialogues and strange characters. Especially in the beginning, there are a lot of comic-elements which slowly die out as the film continues. The movie itself becomes less interesting as it goes on in general.

The film has some actors who apparently wanted to make something lighter for a change. From the “Gotham” franchise there is one character that I was familiar with: Victor Zsasz, whose character is more interesting in the “Gotham” series.

Should you be interested in the detail. While the series play before the emergence of Batman, this film comes after.

An alright watch for when you are looking for something easy.

Kajillionaire – Miranda July (2020)

Just as the other film of July that I reviewed, I knew “Kajillionaire” is not my genre, yet somehow it ended up on my watchlist. It took quite some time before I felt like watching it (“The Future” was hard to find to watch, this was no problem with “Kajillionaire”).

So we have a quirky comedy about a family that has creative ways of earning money. They scam insurance. Return items to shops. That sort of things. They live in an office which gets ‘bubbled’ twice or three times a day. Because they are behind paying rent, they try to go to their living office unseen.

During a job the family meets the very expressive Jenny who has a great idea of making money. Then the gang consists of four.

The girl on the cover is -obviously- the daughter. She is perhaps even more awkward than her parents. Jenny tries to get some life into the girl.

Weird situations, odd dialogues. Again July made a minimalist film with subtle humour referring to all kinds of small things in actual daily life.

Amusing, but not great.

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty – Ben Stiller (2013)

The film has been on my ‘to watch list’ for quite a while. Not too high up, so it took some time before I did watch it. The film is exactly the quirky romantic tragic comedy that I thought it would be and a nice one too.

Walter Mitty is shown as the most boring of boring men in the first scenes of the film. Dreary hallways in his apartment building, a job in the dusty basement of Life Magazine. Walter is also a daydreamer. His body can go into ‘pause mode’ while he travels to imaginary lands in imaginary situations. This often to the astonishment and amusement of for example colleagues.

Life Magazine is going through the transformation of a printed periodical to an online magazine which -of course- means cuts and redundancies. Their star photographer just sent his latest shots and included a letter that photo number 25 is his best ever and deserves a place on the cover. There is one problem: just that photo negative misses from the shipment. Walter is pressured into finding it.

Where the film slowly becomes more and more surrealistic when we watch in Walter’s head, his locating of the photo negative brings him a real adventure (or does it?). He travels to Greenland, then to Iceland (and eats in a restaurant that I visited too) and back to work to find out that the elusive photographer that he is after has visited his mother which leads Walter to the Himalayas for his next clue.

At the same time Walter gets in contact with a colleague that he likes and he proves to have had a somewhat rebellious youth. The grey mouse is not as grey as he seemed to be in the first place.

“The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty” is a nice, funny and slightly weird film to watch some time when you feel like watching something light.

Enola Holmes – Harry Bradbeer (2020)

  • comedy

I felt like watching something light, but perhaps “Enola Holmes” was a bit too much so…

Sherlock Holmes has an older brother and a much younger sister. The father passed away and the brothers moved out of the house, so mother Holmes raises her daughter as an independent freethinker. One night mother disappears.

The brothers return hone to take care of things and Enola uncovers a trail of hints from her mother. She sets out to find her and travels to London following the leads.

Enola is played by the pretty 16-year-old (as Enola is as well) Milly Bobby Brown. Enola tells the story and constantly talks into the camera commenting on what she is doing and thinking. This is somewhat amusing. Also amusing are the animations that are used here and there.

“Enola Holmes” is a family film. Not my usual kind of film.

Seungriho – Sung-hee Jo (2021)

IMDb.com has “Space Sweepers” as an “action, adventure, drama”, but in my opinion, it is a science-fiction comedy.

Mankind pretty much killed the earth in 2092. A rich man with a powerful company has made artificial planets where only the rich and fortunate can live. Those who stayed behind on earth are workers at the rich men’s home if they are lucky.

Besides pollution on earth, also space is heavily polluted. A group of renegades makes money by catching space trash and selling it to factories who can recycle the material. One such group finds a young girl on their ship. It seems that this girl is not just a girl, but a very strong bomb.

The humour in the film is quite ‘screwball’ here and there down to ‘poo and pee level’, but most of the time bearable. The sci-fi looks quite good and the story is not so bad either.

Not a high-flyer, but an amusing sci-fi comedy.

The Wolf Of Snow Hollow – Jim Cummings (2020)

So is this what a contemporary horror comedy is like? In Fargo-like settings, a remote and snowy village, we follow the whereabouts of the conveniently named family Marshall. John (played by the director) is the sheriff. His predecessor is his father. John has a tough private life with a demanding ex-wife and an adolescent daughter. The comedy of the film is mostly people bickering.

Then a brutal murder takes place in Snow Hollow. Very brutal. Maybe the film is not really horror per se, but the murders certainly add a horror element to the film. The theme is horror as well.

Balancing between screwball and Fargo-like black humour, Cummings tried to make a … horror comedy?

The film is alright.

I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore – Macon Blair (2017)

Ruth is a nurse in a nursing home. In her boring life she becomes more and more annoyed by the selfishness of our time.

One day Ruth comes home and finds a burglar in her house. The police go about their routine, but do not really seem to want to try to help Ruth finding her belongings back. With a neighbour, Ruth starts her own investigation.

Ruth and Tony first encounter petty crime, but as their investigations continue, they move up in the chain. A bit of a “Fargo” type story unfolds. Anything that can go wrong…

“I Don’t Feel” is an amusing drama / comedy with some very black jokes.

The House With A Clock In Its Walls – Eli Roth (2018)

This film with an odd name starts a bit like a surrealist children’s film such as Big Fish. Lewis’ parents died in a car crash and Lewis is sent to his strange uncle Jonathan. Jonathan lives in some sort of Adams Family house and proves to be a “warlock” and so the story gets a Harry Potter turn.

So we have a quirky film with silly humor, strange situations and odd characters. These odd characters are played by no less actors as Cate Blanchett and Kyle MacLachlan.

The result is a bit ‘kiddy’, but a pretty amusing comedy. If you like films of Terry Gilliam, Michael Gondry or Tim Burton, this could be a title to put on your list somewhere.